Wednesday night’s final installment of CBS’s “Late Show with David Letterman” is expected to be among the long-running show’s three or four most-watched episodes ever when the final numbers are in, Variety reports.
The early figures, based on Nielsen ovenights for metered markets, have the show averaging a 9.3 household rating and 24 share, the report notes, making it the top turnout since a December 2005 appearance by Oprah Winfrey delivered a 10.1/24.
“Nielsen won’t issue total-viewer estimates until later today, but early indications are that the show drew its largest audience in more than nine years,” Variety notes.
The report adds: “Driving the strong performance last night was a big 11.8 rating/29 share in New York. The nearly 90-minute finale also did a 6.4/22 in Los Angeles and a 12.2/27 in Chicago.”
The report notes that Letterman’s 9.3 national overnight rating “is on par with the 9.2 generated for Jay Leno’s sendoff from NBC’s ‘The Tonight Show’ in February 2014. That translated into 14.64 million viewers in the nationals.”