In his first interview since departing late-night, Conan O’Brien’s appearance on "60 Minutes" was Sunday’s highest rated evening program, drawing 13.3 million viewers for the CBS program, the New York Times reports.
Separately, contrary to what O’Brien said on his Sunday "60 Minutes" interview that the payout for Jay Leno to leave NBC would have been about $150 million, TMZ.com reports that it would have been about the same as O’Brien’s roughly $33 million deal. The TMZ.report cites unnamed network sources.
O’Brien’s interview pushed up "60 Minute" fast affiliate ratings by .6 ratings points, which represents a 38% increase from last week’s "anemic" rating in the 18- to 49-year-old demographic, reports TVbytheNumbers.com . (You can watch O’Brien’s interview here.) After the O’Brien interview, the rest of CBS’ prime-time schedule was down, with "The Amazing Race" slipping 6% from last week’s rating, TVbythe Numbers said.
O’Brien also said during the "60 Minutes" interview that it wasn’t possible his hosted "Tonight Show" would have lost money, as NBC has publicly stated. Says the TMZ report, "NBC sources say the show would not only have lost more than $5 million this year had they kept Conan on, but the loss was specifically discussed with Conan — ‘They were well-informed of that fact,’ said one source.’ "