Leno Repeats Top Original Kimmel Episodes As NBC Latenight Stays Hot

Tonight Show With Jay Leno

Soon-to-depart host has outdrawn his ABC rival and CBS' Letterman every week this year

Audiences remain loyal to Jay Leno, last week choosing his repeats of “The Tonight Show” on NBC over mostly original episodes of ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”

Kimmel had beaten Leno head-to-head three times in the key adults 18-49 demo earlier this year, but last week his four original episodes and one repeat came up short opposite Leno’s all-encore week.

According to Nielsen, “Tonight Show” averaged 912,000 adults 18-49 for the week of Aug. 12-16, still comfortably ahead of “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (805,000) while also topping encores of “Late Show With David Letterman” on CBS (646,000). This is especially impressive given that Kimmel had Oprah Winfrey as a guest on Wednesday.

In total viewers, “Tonight” led the way with 2.95 million, followed by “Kimmel” (2.42 million) and “Late Show” (2.39 million). The NBC program is in control of its timeslot, having beaten both shows every week in 2013.

Also for NBC, repeats of “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” (1.55 million, including 599,000 adults 18-49) outperformed head-to-head both ABC’s “Nightline” (1.40 million, including 452,000 adults 18-49) and CBS’ encore of “Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson” (1.21 million, including 403,000 in the demo).

Fallon, who takes over for Leno as host of “Tonight Show” early next year, has drawn a larger young-adult audience head to head for 32 weeks in a row against “Nightline” and for all but one of the last 45 weeks against “Late Late Show.”

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  1. JimNotJimmy says:

    The fact that Leno repeats beat original Jimmy Kimmel shows in the ratings; should send clear messages to both NBC and ABC. For NBC to replace Leno with someone to better compete with Kimmel was an unnecessary mistake. ABC might be wise to consider buying out Kimmel’s contract; and taking advantage of a rare chance to hire the long time Late Night leader and gain his loyal Late Night following to become number 1 in Late Night!

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