Late-Night Rivals See Ratings Shift

Oct 14, 2011  •  Post A Comment

In the long-running rivalry between late-night hosts David Letterman and Jay Leno, the numbers appear to be shifting in the young fall season.

Letterman, whose CBS talker “Late Show with David Letterman” has typically wound up second to Leno’s NBC chatfest “Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” has pulled ahead, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Figures for the week of Oct. 3-7 show Letterman winning the key 18-49 demo with an average rating of 0.9 to Leno’s 0.8, the story reports.

The previous two weeks were both ties, with each show scoring a 0.8 for the week of Sept. 19-23 and a 0.9 for Sept. 26-30, the story says.

“Tonight Show” did better in total viewers, averaging 3.6 million to 3.3 million for CBS’s “Late Show” in the most recent week. But Letterman’s show took the younger demo of adults 18-34, 0.6 to 0.5. Among older viewers (25-54), it was a tie, with both shows averaging 1.2 ratings for the week.

In the battle of the lead-out shows, NBC’s “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” and CBS’s “Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” fought to a tie in the 18-49 demo with 0.5 ratings, while Fallon came out ahead in total viewers, 1.7 million to 1.5 million, the story notes.

One Comment

  1. Please. The margin of error is at least 1.0 (check the Nielsen fine print). There’s no statistical differnce between 0.8 and 0.9 even if took journalism instead of math.

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