Leno, O'Brien keep network on top

Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien kept NBC on top in latenight for the November sweep, but the competitive month was also a good one for ABC as “Nightline” seemed to benefit from the presidential election.

Final figures released Monday by Nielsen show that “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” remained the top-rated latenight program, although “Nightline” matched it in key demos.

For the Oct. 30-Nov. 26 sweep, both the hourlong “Tonight Show” and half-hour “Nightline” averaged a 1.3 rating in adults 18-49, with the ABC entry up a tick and the NBC show flat. The programs also tied in adults 25-54, where their 1.6 rating repped a slight increase vs. November 2007.

In total viewers, “Tonight” averaged 4.9 million viewers to 4.5 million for “Nightline” — the ABC show’s largest aud for the month since 2001.

CBS’ “Late Show With David Letterman” lagged its competition in both 18-49 (1.1) and 25-54 (1.4) while averaging about 4.1 million viewers overall.

ABC’s momentum extended to “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” which drew its largest November aud to date (1.93 million) and was on par year to year in 18-49 (0.6 rating).

The 12:35 a.m. talkshow battle went to NBC’s “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” (0.7 rating in 18-49, 2.0 million viewers overall) over CBS’ “Late Late Show With CraigFerguson” (0.6 rating, 1.9 million). O’Brien regained the timeslot lead in total viewers after relinquishing it to Ferguson a year ago.

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