NEW YORK — Last week’s “Survivor” finale may have helped boost CBS in morning and latenight, but NBC still dominates the two dayparts.
The much-hyped conclusion of the hit reality series helped “Late Show With David Letterman” finish in its closest competitive position to NBC’s “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” in households, viewers and key demos since the week Letterman returned from heart surgery in February. In the week ended Aug. 25, “The Late Show” posted a 3.7 rating/11 share, with an average of 4.86 million viewers — up 42% in households and 57% in viewers from rebroadcasts in the same week last year, according to Nielsen figures.
“Late Show” trailed “The Tonight Show” by 0.1 in adults 18-34, adults 18-49 and adults 25-54, the smallest margin between the two programs when both were firstrun since the week ended Feb. 25 (again, when Letterman returned from surgery). It was also the smallest difference in households and viewers between original episodes of the two shows since that week.
The post-“Survivor” episode of “Late Show” last Wednesday scored a 6.3/18 with 8.69 million viewers — the program’s third-best household delivery and most-watched broadcast so far this year. The night also gave the “Late Late Show With Craig Kilborn” its best ratings ever with a 2.0/9 household rating and an average of 2.52 million viewers, beating a rebroadcast of NBC’s “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” in households, viewers and key demos.
But even with “Survivor” delivering record-setting numbers for CBS in primetime, “Tonight Show” continued its winning run with a 4.1/12 in households, a 2.2/10 in adults 18-49 and an average of 5.3 million viewers.
Boosted, ‘Early’ still third
Meanwhile, in the ayem race, even with the “Survivor” boost, CBS’ “Early Show” came in a distant third place.
“Early” posted a 2.2/9, up 10% in households (from a 2.0/9), 18% in women 25-54 (1.3/10 vs. 1.1/9) and 38% in women 18-49 (1.1/10 vs. 0.8/8) from the same week last year. The week also saw “Early” post its best household performance since the week ending March 26.
Still, “Early” lagged far behind NBC’s “Today” (4.7/21) and ABC’s “Good Morning America” (3.5/15) in households and key demos such as adults 18-49 and adults 25-54.