×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Sochi’s Opening Ceremony, Fallon’s ‘Late Night’ Exit Score Big for NBC

More than 31 mil watch primetime coverage from Russia; 6.6 mil see Fallon's 'Late Night' farewell

Friday was another big night for NBC, with the official Opening Ceremonies of the Sochi Games holding up very well and Jimmy Fallon exiting his “Late Night” post with series-high numbers.

According to Nielsen overnights, the Sochi Opening Ceremony averaged an 18.5 household rating/30 share, off only 8% from the live telecast of the 2010 Vancouver Opening Ceremony (20.0/33). And it was up a big 26% from the last non-live Opening Ceremony of the Winter Games (a 14.7/23 for Torino in 2006).

With a boost from the Olympics lead-in, Jimmy Fallon’s final bow of “Late Night” brought in 6.6 million viewers — the highest total viewer tally for the show since 1993.

The top local markets on Friday were Minneapolis (26.0/45), Salt Lake City (24.4/43), Ft. Myers (21.7/34), Chicago (21.6/34) and Boston (21.5/37).

In preliminary national estimates, the Opening Ceremony did an 8.6/26 in adults 18-49 and 31.7 million viewers overall during primetime.

According to Facebook data editors, roughly 5.9 million people worldwide were chatting about the Opening Ceremony on Facebook, and the total tally of posts, comments and “likes” by all of those people – collectively called interactions – was 9 million.

The most-buzzed-about moments during the Opening Ceremonies were Team USA in the Parade of Nations (their sweaters were a very popular topic, drawing many Bill Cosby references), the Jamaican bobsled team’s entrance and the fifth Olympic Ring malfunction.

Elsewhere in primetime on Friday, the top 18-49 numbers came for ABC’s “20/20” and “Shark Tank” repeat (both 1.2 rating), while the ABC newsmag and a repeat of CBS’ “Undercover Boss” drew the largest overall series audiences on the night (about 5 million viewers apiece). ABC notes that it was up 10% in 18-49 (1.1 vs. 1.0) and gained about 1.6 million viewers (4.7 million vs. 3.1 million) vs. the Opening Ceremony of 2010.

In latenight, starting at an earlier 12:05 a.m. ET time following NBC’s coverage of the Opening Ceremony from Sochi, Jimmy Fallon’s “Late Night” averaged a 4.8 rating/13 share in Nielsen’s metered markets (excluding Philadelphia) — the highest ever for the show on any night of the week and more than three times the show’s season average (1.5). It bested the 4.6/15 of one night earlier, following the final telecast of “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.”

The final nationals came in at 6.6 million viewers and a 2.2 rating in adults 18-49, which marked the show’s best number in the demo since 2004, during the Conan O’Brien era.

Guests on the final “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” included Andy Samberg and the Muppets, who joined Fallon on stage for a rousing rendition of the Band’s “The Weight.” Fallon debuts as host of “The Tonight Show” on Feb. 17, following NBC’s primetime Olympics coverage.

More TV

  • Viacom HQ LA

    Viacom Stock Takes Hit Amid DirecTV Battle

    Viacom shares have taken a hit in trading Wednesday, a day after the company went public with its brewing battle over a new carriage agreement with AT&T’s DirecTV. Viacom shares were down more than 5% by midday, dropping to $26.05. On Tuesday afternoon, Viacom began warning viewers that its channels may go dark as of [...]

  • Ava DuVernay Sets Anthology Series 'Cherish

    Ava DuVernay Sets Romance Anthology Series 'Cherish the Day' at OWN (EXCLUSIVE)

    The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) has given out a straight-to-series order for an anthology that hails from Ava DuVernay, Variety has learned exclusively. The series is titled “Cherish the Day.” Each season, the anthology series chronicles the romance of one couple, with each episode spanning a single day. The season-long narrative will unfold to reveal [...]

  • Dora the Exlorer Paw Patrol Rugrats

    Nickelodeon at 40: Breaking Down the Big Hits From 'Dora' to 'SpongeBob'

    As Nickelodeon turns 40, Variety breaks down some of the network’s most important titles to date. “All That” “All That” launched careers in its 1994-2005 run, and is being resurrected with a new cast and many of the same producers this summer. “It just seemed like a quirky, different hang out for kids,” says original [...]

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Double Dare

    Nickelodeon at 40: King of Kids TV Is Still Expanding its Brand

    As Nickelodeon turns 40, the kids’ network is finding ways to rely on its past as it presses boldly into the future. “My goal is to fill up every screen of every size to make Nick kids’ first and last stop for everything they want in entertainment,” says Nickelodeon Group president Brian Robbins, who succeeded [...]

  • Epic Games Unveils $100 Million 'MegaGrants'

    Epic Games Unveils $100 Million 'MegaGrants' For Film, Game, Other Creators

    Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney kicked off the company’s annual Game Developers Conference keynote with some big news for creators: a commitment to hand out $100 million to game makers, film and TV creators, students, educators, tool developers, essentially anyone working to enhance 3D graphics and inspire creativity. The Epic MegaGrants is an [...]

  • Kenan Thompson SNL

    How Nickelodeon Inspired the Next Generation of Hollywood Stars

    With four decades of transformative kids’ programming from such series as “All That” to “Blue’s Clues” to “Rugrats” under its belt, Nickelodeon has been responsible for inspiring new generations of Hollywood creatives. For comic actor Kenan Thompson, it’s easy to see how Nickelodeon’s “All That” became a training ground for his work on NBC’s late-night, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content