Letterman moves closer to rival in sweeps

David Letterman isn’t exactly breathing down Jay Leno’s neck, but he is finishing November closer to his latenight rival than he has during any major sweeps month (excluding the 1998 Winter Olympics) since May 1996.

“The Late Show With David Letterman” has averaged a 3.2 rating, 9 share, in November households (with three nights yet to be reported by Nielsen), up from last year’s 2.9/9, while “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” remains comfortably ahead despite slipping a couple of tenths to a 4.5/13.

“Tonight” is on course to maintain its full adults 18-49 margin from last November (2.5/12 for “Leno,” 1.7/8 for “Letterman”), though the final three nights will likely benefit CBS’ tallies more than NBC’s.

ABC’s “Nightline” is matching its year-ago 18-49 pace (1.9/8), despite declines for most news shows when compared with last year’s Monica-boosted results.

Nov. 22-26 results featured “Tonight’s” highest 18-49 rating (2.7/12) for a full week of telecasts since May 24-28, 1999.

“Letterman,” meanwhile, has shown year-to-year household gains in nine of its 10 firstrun weeks this fall.

In other fringe-daypart results, “Pokemon” continues to blast the kidvid competition, claiming for the Nov. 22-28 week the highest and second-highest kids 2-11 ratings for both weekdays (3.5/31 at 7 a.m. and 4.0/20 at 4 p.m.) and Saturday morning (5.1/29 at 8:30 a.m. and 7.3/29 at 10 a.m.).

That “Pokemon” punch was just enough to keep Kids’ WB ahead of cable’s Nickelodeon for first in their head-to-head weekday and Saturday-morning blocks.

ABC dominated the week’s daytime results in women 18-49, as “The View” managed its best figures since May 3-7 (1.6/14). NBC’s “Passions” netted the highest female teen tally (2.5/19) of any daytime series this season.

Each adults 18-49 rating point reps 1.24 million viewers, 1% of the U.S. total. Each women 18-49 point translates to 629,300 viewers and each kids 2-11 point reps 398,100 children.

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