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.