Leno tops Letterman for first time in sweeps

“The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” ended November sweeps with its first win in seven major surveys since “Late Show With David Letterman” premiered.

The NBC latenighter averaged a 5.2 rating, 16 share in Nielsen over the four-week survey, up 8% in homes, with similar gains among adults 18-49 (a 2.7 rating) and 25-54 (3.0).

“Late Show,” by contrast, dropped 29% in homes (4.0/12), while losing nearly a third of its audience in the 18-49 and 25-54 age brackets (a 2.5 rating in each). “Nightline” (4.8/13) ran third in key demos but actually ranked second behind “The Tonight Show” in total viewers during its half-hour.

The morning race turned out to be a photo finish, as “Today” and “Good Morning America” tied in households (4.4/19), with the ABC breakfastcast holding a narrow edge in total viewers (5.12 million to 5.08 million) while the NBC show swept all key demographics.

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