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‘Letterman’ Tops ‘Leno’

Nov 19, 2004  •  Post A Comment

The combination of Howard Stern and Alanis Morissette as guests and a robust CBS prime-time Thursday lead-in helped “Late Show With David Letterman” score its best Thursday metered-market rating in 6½ years and its biggest overnight rating of the season, as “Letterman” beat NBC’s “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” head-to-head for the first time in more than nine years.

According to data from Nielsen Media Research, “Late Show” Thursday averaged a 5.7 rating/14 share in Nielsen’s 56 metered markets. “Tonight” averaged a 5.4/13, giving the head-to-head win to “Late Show” for the first time since July 27, 1995.

The 5.7 rating was “Late Show’s” biggest Thursday overnight rating since a 5.8/15 on Feb. 19, 1998, during the Winter Olympics.

Also having its biggest metered market night of the season was “The Late Late Show,” with guest host D.L. Hughley and guests Frankie Muniz and Nellie McKay. “Late Late’s” 2.3/8 average in the overnights was the highest of any night since Feb. 9, 2004.