Late-Night Ratings: Leno & Fallon Hit Highs In Viewers, 'Nightline' Takes Season Lead

NBC won three nights in primetime last week, and its ratings gains also carried over to late-night. Both Jay Leno (4.2 million viewers) and Jimmy Fallon (1.9 million) hit season highs in total viewers. for the week of Dec. 13-17. Leno also topped Letterman and Nightline/Jimmy Kimmel in every key category and also prevailed over Conan O’Brien’s TBS show (1.1 rating vs. 0.7) in adults 18-49 for a fourth straight week. Fallon too topped Ferguson and Kimmel in every major category.

Leno widened his margin of victory over Letterman in 18-49 to 22% in viewers (1.402 million vs. 1.149 million), up from a 3% win for the same week last year when Conan was the host of The Tonight Show. Similarly, Fallon topped Late Late Show for the week by 25% (861,000 vs. 689,000), up from last year’s 3%.

Versus the first 13 weeks of last season, Tonight is matching its year-ago 1.0 rating in adults 18-49 and is 6% below its year-ago 18-49 viewership, while CBS’ Late Show is down 10% in rating (0.9 vs. 1.0) and down 14% in 18-49 viewers. In total viewers, Tonight is up 52% versus last season, Late Show is down 15%.
ABC’s Nightline was second for the week among total viewers (3.87 million) and adults 18-49 (1.24 million). Season-to-date, Nightline ranks in first place among viewers and A25-54, the first time the newsmagazine has been in first place at this point in the season since at least the 1993-94 season when the Late Show with David Letterman began on CBS.

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