'Late Night' finishes first week on top

Jimmy Fallon finished his first week as host of NBC’s “Late Night” franchise on top, beating all cable and broadcast competition while also besting incumbent Conan O’Brien’s season average.

In addition, Fallon’s was the most watched premiere week for a latenight yakker in the last decade, bettering the bows of “The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson” (2 million viewers in January 2005), ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (1.7 million in January 2003) and “The Late Late Show With Craig Kilborn” (1.5 million in March/April 1999) .

For the week of March 2-6, the “Late Show With Jimmy Fallon” averaged nearly 2.4 million total viewers and more than 1.2 million adults 18-49, topping its closest 12:35 a.m. competish, CBS’ “Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson,” by respective margins of 25% and 60% in those categories, according to Nielsen Media Research data encompassing only same-day viewing.

The total viewer count for Fallon’s premiere week was 21% higher than O’Brien’s 991,000 “Late Night” average this season and 11% above his adults 18-49 season rating.

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