×

NBC’s Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon Deliver Biggest Weeks of 2013

'Tonight Show' opens up wide demo advantage over CBS' 'Late Show,' which finishes third

NBC’s latenight duo of Jay Leno and Jimmy Fallon continued their spring hot streak last week, drawing their largest young-adult audiences in more than four months.

Nielsen estimates that “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” averaged 1.12 million adults 18-49 for the week of May 13-17, well ahead of ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (792,000) and CBS’ “Late Show With David Letterman” (738,000). A year ago at this time, Leno and Letterman were in a virtual tie with about 990,000.

This was the biggest 18-49 audience for Leno since mid-December, while it repped a season low for a week of Letterman originals. Leno has now topped Letterman in 18-49 for 26 consecutive weeks, and has beaten Kimmel in 17 of 19 weeks.

“Tonight” also dominated in total viewers with 3.62 million (up 5% from last year), with “Late Show” averaging 2.69 million (down 15%). “JKL” (2.40 million) was up 37% from its episode of a year ago, which began at midnight.

NBC could be benefiting from a stronger finish relative to CBS in primetime, especially in the 10:30 p.m. half-hour. In the comparable week a year ago, CBS crushed NBC in adults 18-49 during the final 30 minutes of primetime (2.6 to 1.4), but last week that advantage was much smaller (1.6 to 1.5). ABC (1.9) matched its year-ago average.

“Tonight Show” could also be picking up viewers who a year ago were watching “Nightline” on ABC. While “JKL” continues to deliver sizable gains vs. its later starting time of last year, in the same week in 2012 it was “Nightline” that was the No. 1 latenight program in adults 18-49 (1.16 million) as well as total viewers.

In the 12:35 a.m. hour, NBC’s “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” averaged 700,000 viewers adults 18-49 (up 8% from the comparable week a year ago) — its largest demo audience since New Year’s week. CBS’ “Late, Late Show With Craig Ferguson” (442,000) was off by 21% from last week for its second lowest average of the season for originals.

More TV

  • ITV Wins Pre-Sales for Mipcom Drama

    Pre-Sales for 'Noughts and Crosses' Lead Scripted Deals for ITV Studios at Mipcom

    ITV Studios Global Entertainment has racked up pre-sales for its leading Mipcom title “Noughts and Crosses”, and has unveiled a number of other deals on its drama slate. “Noughts and Crosses” has been acquired by M-Net in Africa, Russia’s More TV, TVNZ in New Zealand and on BBC First across Benelux prior to its launch on BBC [...]

  • Obit Obituary Placeholder

    Talent Agent Joseph Eric Rice Dies at 61

    Joseph Eric Rice, a talent agent who headed JR Talent Group, died unexpectedly at his home in Laguna Beach, Calif. He was 61. Rice headed his own talent agency based in Studio City where he primary handled actors. Earlier in his career, he headed the theatrical department at Abrams Artists Agency. Rice was born in [...]

  • Elisa Viihde Orders Second Series of

    Elisa Viihde Orders Second Series of Finnish hit Drama 'All the Sins' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Elisa Viihde, the thriving Finnish SVOD service, has ordered a second season of the local series “All the Sins” whose season one was a critical success and sold to over 30 countries. The new season of “All the Sins,” written by the award-winning Mika Ronkainen and Merja Aakko, takes viewers back in time to the [...]

  • Cuna-de-lobos

    Televisa’s Fabrica de Sueños Leads Content Revamp as ‘Cuna de Lobos’ Debuts Strongly

    Televisa’s Fabrica de Sueños (Dream Factory), launched last year under the leadership of Patricio Wills, has begun to reap ratings dividends from its anthology series of re-versioned hit Televisa telenovelas of the ‘80s and ‘90s. Founded under the slogan ‘Rewriting History,’ Fabrica de Sueños kicked off to stellar ratings in September with “La Usurpadora” (“The [...]

  • Project Blue Book

    Mipcom Roundup: A+E Sells, Ovation Buys, Fremantle Dating Format Takes Off

    In Variety’s second Mipcom roundup Ovation announces a raft of series and TV movie pickups, Nelson Mandela’s autobiographical recordings will be developed into a docuseries by Zig Zag and Hipster Media, A+E sells “Project Blue Book” to Viasat World and RTL, All The Kids and El Cañonazo are set to team in Spain on new formats; “Property [...]

  • La jauría

    Lucia Puenzo Talks Fabula-Fremantle’s ‘The Pack’ - ‘La Jauria’

    CANNES —   Produced by Chile’s Fabula, headed by Pablo and Juan de Dios Larraín, and Fremantle, and showrun by Lucía Puenzo (“The German Doctor”), “La Jauria” (The Pack) cuts excruciatingly to the chase. In its very first scene, a teen girl student sits down, back to the wall, before her male drama teacher who [...]

  • Stan Lee's Kindergarten Superhero

    Alibaba's Youku Boards 'Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten' With Arnold Schwarzenegger

    Youku, the video streaming platform of Alibaba Group, has signed a deal with Genius Brands International to co-produce “Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten,” an animated series starring and executive produced by Arnold Schwarzenegger. The pact marks significant step in Alibaba/Youku building its footprint in the U.S. Aimed at preschoolers, the comedy adventure series “Stan Lee’s Superhero [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content