Letterman a full rating point ahead of Leno

NEW YORK — Fueled by John Kerry’s guest appearance Monday, CBS latenight host David Letterman posted his highest overnight ratings for a season premiere since the program bowed in 1993.

According to Nielsen Media Research fast nationals, “Late Show With David Letterman” delivered a 5.4 rating/13 share in metered markets, a full rating point ahead of usual leader NBC’s “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” (4.3/10).

Final numbers will be available later this week.

Monday marked Kerry’s first visit to Letterman as Democratic presidential candidate. Show has issued a standing invitation to President Bush, but so far Bush hasn’t accepted.

Green Day was Letterman’s musical guest.

Leno’s first show of the new TV season featured “Daily Show” anchor Jon Stewart, middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins and musical act Skye Sweetnam.

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