Letterman Tops O’Brien, Whose ‘Tonight Show’ Continues to Slide in Total Viewers

Jul 18, 2009  •  Post A Comment

David Letterman’s CBS “Late Show” beat Conan O’Brien’s “Tonight Show” last week, as the NBC program pulled in 2.8 million total viewers, its least-viewed week since Nielsen has been measuring total viewers, the New York Times says.

Letterman’s show had 3.7 million viewers last week, while ABC’s “Nightline,” with 3.8 million viewers in its half-hour, beat them both with its Michael Jackson memorial coverage.

A year ago, the Jay Leno-hosted “Tonight” had 4.6 million viewers, meaning O’Brien’s show has lost 38% of the audience. His show still draws a much younger audience, however.

–Elizabeth Jensen


  1. Rule #1 for the host of a late-night talk show: You gotta be likable and easy to take!
    Rule #2: people have to count you as their surrogate…they have to think of you as one of them.
    I could throw strike three here, but I’ll give him another couple of weeks.

  2. But didn’t they already declare Conan the “New King of Late Night”?

  3. Who was the MORON that allowed this Conan clown to fill this time slot? And why isn’t he and the Redhead being shown the door?

  4. Conan’s monologues are mediocre at best. They sure don’t have the ‘water cooler’ material that Jay Leno mined on a daily basis with great success.
    ..and does Conan get a bonus for everytime he mentions NBC or UNIVERSAL STUDIOS?!? Yawn!

  5. Conan simply isn’t funny. I’m afraid his humor isn’t great as he thinks it is.

  6. Conan is friggin hilarious! The people who bust on him must be in their 60’s or 70’s, because Leno’s “Humor” is a dry as the Sahara Desert. GO CONAN!!!! The Party Starter!! Wooooo!

  7. The only reason I’ve been viewing Conan for the past 5 or 6 weeks is to see how long it will be before I crack a belly laugh or even a chuckle from his monologue and skits. I can honestly say that neither has occured. Also, Conan claps his hands during the monologue at least 12 times per night – that’s 60 times a month . . . a sure sign of insecurity.

  8. does anyone realize that Conan has a very short monologue? We don’t get the usual 10-12 minutes of daily topical jokes that we got with Leno!

  9. I agree with your thoughts here and I really love your blog! I’ve bookmarked it so that I can come back & read more in the future.

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