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Obama Visit Nets NBC’s Top ‘Tonight Show’ Rating in Nine Months

Leno tops Kimmel and Letterman combined

President Obama remains a popular latenight guest, as his visit on Tuesday night lifted NBC’s “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” to its highest-rated night in the nine months since Obama’s most recent prior appearance.

According to Nielsen metered-market overnights, “Tonight Show” averaged a 3.8 household rating/10 share — more than double the 1.8 rating for competitors “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on ABC and “Late Show With David Letterman” on CBS (with a repeat episode).

The fourth “Tonight Show” appearance for Obama since he took office in 2009, Tuesday’s episode is the highest “Tonight” overnight rating for any night of the week since a Wednesday last October when Obama’s appearance netted a 4.0 rating. And it’s the highest Tuesday night in 21 months, since an October 2011 appearance by Obama (4.1).

Total-viewer estimates weren’t available for Tuesday’s “Tonight Show,” but Obama’s visit last October ended up averaging 4.6 million viewers, so Tuesday should come in pretty close to that.

In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, “Tonight” averaged a 1.2/6 in adults 18-49, the highest for the show on a Tuesday since the night of “The Voice” finale last December. By comparison, “Jimmy Kimmel Live” did a 0.6 in the demo and the Letterman repeat did a 0.3.

The strong push from “Tonight Show” lifted “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” to its highest Tuesday overnight rating (1.7) since doing a 1.8 on the night of last December’s “Voice” finale.

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