"Jay Leno to the rescue … of David Letterman?
"In a bid to keep up with lovable new ‘The Tonight Show’ host Jimmy Fallon, David Letterman is working diligently to pull off the ultimate coup: getting the lantern-jawed comic to appear on his late night show," the New York Daily News’ Confidenti@l reports in an exclusive story.
The story continues, " ‘There’s been quiet talk behind the scenes for months that Dave will have Jay Leno on as a guest,’ one insider said. ‘(Letterman’s) producers waited until Fallon debuted (on "Tonight"), give him space out of respect, but are now ready to pull out all the stops.’"
According to our good friend Wayne Friedman at MediaPost, "For the week ending March 7, NBC’s ‘Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon’ averaged a Nielsen 4.5 million viewers — with CBS’s ‘Late Show with David Letterman’ (2.76 million) and ABC’s ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ (2.74 million) well behind.
"For Fallon, this is down 17% from the week before, and even lower from his strong initial weeks. His season-to-date average since Feb. 17, when he replaced Jay Leno, now stands at 6.1 million viewers; ‘Late Show’ is at 2.7 million; and ‘Kimmel’ has 2.5 million."
Friedman also notes: "Fallon’s debut episode in mid-February pulled in a massive 11.3 million viewers when he took over for Leno. In the key 18-49 viewership category, Fallon remains easily on top with a 1.34 rating/6 share. ABC’s ‘Kimmel’ is at 0.73/3 and CBS’s ‘Late Show’ has 0.56/3."
The Daily News story adds, "Representatives for Leno and Letterman did not return calls for comment Thursday. But sources say Leno isn’t looking to hurt his successor, Fallon — rather, just trying to stay relevant."
Once close friends, for years now Leno and Letterman have had an on-again, off-again feud. Recently Leno said he and Letterman are talking occasionally.
Jay Leno visits David Letterman’s "Late Night" on NBC in 1992