Thursday, March 18, 2010

Late Night Ratings: Median "Tonight" viewer age goes way up

Team Coco faithful can declare "I told you so": the median age of people watching "The Tonight Show" has gone up. Way up.

NBC spinmeisters frequently touted the relative youthfulness of Conan's audience. However, last week, the median age of David Letterman's viewers (54.4) was over a year younger than the median age of Leno watchers (55.9).

Here are the numbers for last week's (March 8-12) shows (total viewership):
NBC “Tonight,” 4.4 million viewers
CBS “Late Show,” 3.8 million viewers
ABC “Nightline,” 3.7 million viewers

Here are the numbers from March 1-5, Leno's first week back:
NBC “Tonight,” 5.6 million viewers
CBS “Late Show,” 3.7 million viewers
ABC “Nightline,” 3.6 million viewers

During Leno's first week back on "Tonight," Jay averaged 1.949 million adults 18-49, vs. 1.305 for Dave. In adults 18-34, Jay’s 721,000 topped Letterman’s 488,000.

During the week of March 8-12, Jay averaged 1.546 million adults 18-49, vs. 1.348 for Dave. In adults 18-34, Jay’s 580,000 topped Letterman’s 442,000.

Looks like Jay got an expected bump from his first week back and highly touted visits from Olympians. Maybe all of those missing viewers are watching cable, TiVo, or just going to bed earlier.