The latest set of numbers is out and it looks like Conan O'Brien is continuing to win in the "important audience categor[ies]" -- ouch, it must hurt to be over 49 and no longer be important -- but Dave is doing well when you just look at the numbers. "[W]hen all viewers are counted [Conan's] lead over Mr. Letterman is just over 100,000, with 3.771 million to 3.669 million for Mr. Letterman," reports the New York Times. The average age of Dave's viewers is 56.7, compared with 45.7 for Conan. (Jay Leno had a median viewer age of 55.7, so presumably the 10-year drop is why NBC is rejoicing.)
Conan scored 1.040 million 18-34-year-old viewers in his second week on the air, vs. Dave's 376,000. In the 18-49 category, Conan had 2.013 million viewers vs. 1.126 million for Dave. "Even in the oldest group that is used to sell to advertisers, viewers between 25 and 54," writes the Times' Bill Carter, "Mr. O’Brien had a commanding 38 per cent lead with 2.050 million viewers to 1.486 million for Mr. Letterman." Presumably some of Leno's disgruntled 55+ viewers have started switching over to CBS at 11:35; hopefully "Late Show" won't be inundated with ads for adult diapers and erectile dysfunction drugs, a la the old-skewing evening network news programs.
Meanwhile, Aaron Barnhart's analysis of Conan's first couple of weeks makes some fresh points, especially about the frenetic audience reaction when Coco walks out on stage:
I watched the clock and on Wednesday’s broadcast it took Conan 97 seconds from the end of Richter’s “O’Brieeen” to introducing his first joke. Most of that 97 seconds consisted of the crowd going nuts, Conan telling the crowd to calm down, the crowd going nuts some more, Conan looking nervously impatient, etc. On Tuesday’s show the delay was 77 seconds, and Monday’s “Tonight” monologue started 95 seconds after the host walked out. By comparison, the host of the CBS “Late Show” started his first joke a brisk 39 seconds after Kalter’s “Lllllletterman!”Talk Show News has noticed the same thing happening on "The Colbert Report" -- on last night's show, it took 55 seconds for the audience to settle down. Now, we have attended many a live taping and know that the warm-up guys try their darndest to get everybody pumped before the show starts. But if you are watching at home, it is annoying. Viewers tune in to see comedy, not listen to applause.