Friday, May 1, 2009

The ratings race

From Nielsen, here's the number of people watching each of the late night talk shows (season-to-date numbers):

11:35 p.m. ET
NBC "Tonight," 5.2 million viewers
CBS "Late Show," 3.9 million viewers
ABC "Nightline," 3.9 million viewers

12:05 a.m. ET
ABC "Kimmel," 1.7 million viewers

12:35 a.m. ET
NBC "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon," 2.1 million viewers
CBS "Late Late Show," 1.9 million viewers

1:35 a.m. ET
NBC "Last Call," 1.2 million viewers

And, for comparison, the competition on Comedy Central:
Comedy Central, 11 p.m. ET, "The Daily Show," 1.7 million
Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m. ET, "The Colbert Report," 1.1 million

Keep in mind that "The Daily Show" and "Colbert" are rerun several times each day, so the number of viewers who see each show is no doubt quite a bit greater than the number above.

And showing what a habit "The Tonight Show" is for many viewers, even when Jay had reruns last week due to his illness, he still beat "Late Show with David Letterman." It remains to be seen what those loyal Leno watchers will do when Conan takes over next month.


  1. Santiago R. said...

    I still cant understand how I used to prefer Leno over Dave when I had JUST started to watch late night talk shows in 1995. I thought Dave was too much of an asshole to his guests, insulting them too much for my taste, but then I stopped watching those shows for years, and once I picked them up again (around 99 or 00), I couldnt STAND Leno and Dave had mellowed out quite a bit, and now Im a die hard Late Show fan.

    Dave is much better than Leno in every way and I dont know why the ratings for the Tonight Show are higher than Daves. It doesnt make sense to me.

  2. Anonymous said...

    LOVED Jay Leno!!! David Letterman is too much of an out-spoken smart ass that pushs his own views. Will watch Conen anyday over Letterman.
    Looking forward to Leno at 10:00.