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Jimmy Fallon, ‘Tonight Show’ Still Rolling in Ratings

Jimmy Kimmel posted gains with a week of shows from Austin, but his ABC latenight show was still no match for NBC’s “Tonight Show,” which remains dominant one month into the run of new host Jimmy Fallon.

Fallon was expected to be the latenight ratings leader as host of “Tonight,” but the margin by which he is still winning in adults 18-49 after four weeks is a bit surprising.

According to Nielsen estimates for the week of March 10-14, “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” averaged a 1.32 rating/6 share in adults 18-49 — topping the combined scores of ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (0.76/3) and CBS’ “Late Show With David Letterman” (0.55/2). “Tonight” retained 99% of its week-earlier demo rating (1.32 vs. 1.34).

Versus the same night last year with Jay Leno as host, “Tonight” was up 81% in adults 18-49 while Kimmel grew 31% (from its repeats of a year ago) and Letterman was down 15%.

In total viewers, “Tonight Show” also dominated, with its 4.26 million well ahead of Kimmel (2.83 million) and Letteman (2.78 million). Fallon was up vs. Leno a year ago by 27% in total viewers, a smaller gain than he’s seeing in the demo because Leno’s audience had an older skew and included lots of viewers 50 and older.

Kimmel delivered its best numbers since mid-November, and was up 33% in total viewers from last year’s week of repeats. The final show from Austin on Friday averaged 3.46 million viewers, making it “JKL’s” third most-watched telecast ever — behind only the Matt Damon takeover episode in January 2013 and the night last month of “Scandal’s” return.

Following “The Tonight Show” on NBC, the third week of “Late Night with Seth Meyers” scored gains vs. the same week last year when Fallon was host — up 35% in 18-49 (0.69 rating vs. 0.51) and 14% in total viewers (1.94 million vs. 1.70 million). Meyers retained 97% of his week-two rating in 18-49 (0.69 vs. 0.71) and 93% in total viewers (1.94 million vs. 2.07 million).

“Late Night” finished well ahead of its primary 12:35-1:35 a.m. competition, CBS’ “Late, Late Show With Craig Ferguson” (0.34 rating in 18-49, 1.94 million viewers overall). It also topped ABC’s “Nightline” (0.45 rating in 18-49, 1.69 million viewers overall), which airs from 12:35 to 1:05 a.m.

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