Thursday, July 30, 2009

Late Night Ratings: Letterman threepeats

Nothing's new in the world of Dave vs. Conan: "Tonight Show" ratings continue to slip, from the July 13-17 average of 2.7 million viewers to 2.5 million viewers during the week of July 20-24, according to the New York Times. The average viewership of "Late Show" and "Nightline" went down a bit too; 3.32 million people tuned in to see Letterman, and ABC News' show, during a Michael Jackson-free week, plummeted from 3.7 million to 3.16 million.

Of course, Conan continues to grab those "younger adult viewers many advertisers prefer," as the Times' Bill Carter puts it. 626,000 viewers between the ages of 18 and 34 watched "Tonight," vs. 331,000 young "Late Show" fans. However, Dave has essentially closed the gap in the 25-to-54-year-old demographic: O’Brien had 1.35 million viewers in that group, vs. 1.32 million for Letterman.

"Late Night with Jimmy Fallon"'s viewership decreased from 1.3 million to 1.21 million, while Craig Ferguson's audience stayed about the same -- around 1.5 million. Of course, Fallon gets more of the Coveted Younger Demographic®.

For the network spin, here's CBS' take ("'Late Show' Beats 'The Tonight Show' in Viewers For the Third Consecutive Week -- First Time Since July 1995"). NBC hasn't issued a press release as of this writing.