CBS is first out of the gate again this morning with a ratings press release about the week of July 13-17, and the Eye is excited. Here's the headline:
"Late Show" Tops "Tonight Show" in Viewers for the Third Time in Four Weeks
The Gap in Both Adults 18-49 and Adults 18-34 Narrows to Their Smallest Difference Since Conan Became Host
"The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" Tops "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon"
Yes, Conan O'Brien is still winning over the Coveted Younger Demographic®, but CBS says Dave is catching up: "In adults 18-49, LATE SHOW was just -0.2 of a rating point behind 'The Tonight Show,' while among adults 18-34, the gap has narrowed to -0.5 of a rating point, the smallest difference between the two shows in both demographic measures since Conan became host."
But wait! Here's NBC, saying that they couldn't be happier with Conan's performance! "Despite a highly publicized appearance on 'Late Show' by former Beatle Paul McCartney, 'Tonight' more than doubled 'Late Show's' audience last week in the younger half of late-night's key 18-49 demo, adults 18-34... In adult 18-49 rating, 'The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien' finished #1 or tied for #1 on five of five nights last week and is 30 for 30 with original telecasts since Conan's June 1 debut."
Looking at the overall numbers, however, it's hard to see how NBC can be completely pleased. I mean, this looks kind of grim (and note that "Nightline" is still beating both entertainment shows, even after their Michael Jackson coverage ratings bump):
NBC "Tonight," 2.7 million viewers
CBS "Late Show," 3.5 million viewers
ABC "Nightline," 3.7 million viewers
Comedy Central, 11 p.m. ET, "The Daily Show," 1.5 million viewers
Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m. ET, "The Colbert Report," 1.1 million viewers
ABC "Kimmel," 1.5 million viewers
NBC "Late Night," 1.3 million viewers
CBS "Late Late Show," 1.5 million viewers
Going back a month, Conan had an average of 3.3 million viewers per show during the week of June 15 -- a number that has been steadily dropping. Dave, meanwhile, was watched by 3.5 million people, exactly the same number that tuned in during the current ratings period. "Nightline" has seen big gains. Have some late night viewers decided to get a news fix at 11:30 instead of watching a traditional talk show?
The average age of Conan viewers has also crept up in the last month, from 45.8 during the week of June 15 to 47.2 during the week of July 13.