Leno Significantly Down in 18-49 Demo Compared to His Last Go-Around at the ‘Tonight Show’

Apr 12, 2010  •  Post A Comment

Jay Leno has returned to his old spot, and something else is looking old, too, Bill Carter writes in the New York Times. While Leno’s show has boosted audiences more than 50% from Conan O’Brien’s average, the median age of "The Tonight Show" has also jumped — by 10 years, making the median age of the show’s viewers 56 years old.

Despite his bigger audience compared to O’Brien’s, Leno is drawing fewer viewers than the Leno-hosted "Tonight" show did in 2009, with a particular significant loss among viewers between 18-to-49, the demographic most coveted by advertisers.

Leno’s rating among that group is down to about a 1.15, compared with a 1.5 rating a year earlier, the article says. It’s possible that younger viewers have left for cable programs, with Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s shows attracting more men between 18-to-34 than all of the broadcast networks.


  1. With the aging of American baby boomers coupled with the declining numbers of following younger demographics, I fail to understand why everyone and their brother continues to pursue those age groups.
    Despite what some assume, succeeding age groups are having less and less impact on society overall due to their fewer and fewer numbers, and their lower and lower standards of living.
    Let them go. They have less money to spend on the things sponsors want them to buy.

  2. Hey Jay, I am glad you are back, I am willingly staying up later just to see you. You make me laugh, and I need to laugh more.

  3. Don’t forget to credit NBC for their fumbling, compelling some of the audience to find something else. Not likely that this YOY drop would have been so big without NBC’s fubar games.

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