×

Donald Trump Sends Jimmy Fallon to Highest Friday Rating in 18 Months

Jimmy Fallon got a Donald Trump bump as the GOP presidential hopeful’s appearance took “The Tonight Show” to its highest ratings for a Friday broadcast in 18 months.

NBC’s “Tonight Show” brought in 4.5 million viewers, according to Nielsen’s preliminary estimates. In adults 18-49, Fallon averaged a 1.2 rating. That was Fallon’s highest mark for a Friday broadcast since Feb. 28, 2014, shortly after his debut at the “Tonight Show” desk.

The week-one duel between Fallon and CBS’ new “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert ended with “Late Show” drawing 3.5 million viewers and 0.8 in adults 18-49. It was notable that “Late Show” held steady Friday in its 18-49 average of the past three nights despite the lure of Trump on the competition. And Friday’s “Late Show” episode was up 47% from CBS’ showing the same night last year.

Colbert’s guests on Friday included Amy Schumer and Stephen King. Trump is set to visit “The Late Show” on Sept. 22.

CBS noted that “Late Show’s” Sept. 8 premiere episode has set a new record for total streams via CBS.com and CBS apps.

The pattern after four days indicates that NBC’s “Tonight Show” will continue maintain a comfortable lead over CBS and ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” barring big stunts or guest booking coups.

For CBS, the win with Colbert moving into “The Late Show” host slot is double-digit gains compared to the network’s performance in the time slot this time last year. And Colbert is clearly drawing a younger audience than David Letterman did in his final season.

CBS noted that “Late Show’s” Sept. 8 premiere episode has set a new record for total streams via CBS.com and CBS apps.

With the high level of scrutiny on the Fallon-Colbert competition, the biz will be eagerly awaiting the first time-shifted ratings for the new era of late-night. But that will require some patience. Nielsen’s live-plus-3 ratings for this past week are not expected to be released for another two weeks because the L3 turnaround time for the late-night daypart is much longer than it is for primetime ratings.

More TV

  • What to Watch on TV This

    What to Watch on TV This Week: ‘Picard' Premieres and 'Shrill' Returns

    Welcome back to Tune In: our weekly newsletter offering a guide to the best of the week’s TV. Each week, Variety’s TV team combs through the week’s schedule, selecting our picks of what to watch and when/how to watch them. This week, “Star Trek: Picard” beams into existence on CBS All Access and “Shrill” returns [...]

  • SAG Awards 2020: What You Didn't

    SAG Awards 2020: From Charlize Theron to 'Parasite,' What You Didn't See on TV

    Brad Pitt made a crack about his marriages. Robert De Niro got political. And Jennifer Aniston talked about appearing in a commercial for Bob’s Big Boy. Those were just some of thing that happened on stage at the SAG Awards that were broadcast on TNT/TBS on Sunday night. However, Variety was inside the Shrine Auditorium [...]

  • Edges Unknown

    TCB, Cineflix, All3Media Announce Sales Ahead of NATPE Miami

    Miami’s NATPE market kicks off on Tuesday, but deal announcements are already landing. London-based TCB Media Rights has sold 130 hours of content to Latin America, Cineflix and National Geographic Latin America closed a deal for four titles, and Discovery Latin America picked up popular makeover format “10 Years Younger” from All3Media. TCB’s 130 Hours [...]

  • U.K. Broadcaster Channel 5 Readies Thomas

    U.K. Broadcaster Channel 5 Readies Thomas Markle Documentary

    ViacomCBS-backed U.K. broadcaster Channel 5 will air a 90-minute documentary on Meghan Markle’s father Thomas Markle. Markle and her husband Prince Harry sparked a global media frenzy earlier this month with their decision not to continue as senior members of the British Royal Family. Buckingham Palace announced that the couple are to lose their royal [...]

  • Tony Hall BBC Director General

    BBC Boss Tony Hall Lands at U.K.'s National Gallery

    BBC director general Tony Hall has been appointed chair of the board of trustees of the National Gallery. The executive, who has served on the Gallery’s board since November, takes over as chair from Sir John Kingman, who has been interim chair since Hannah Rothschild stood down from the role in September. Hall said: “The [...]

  • Fox TV Stations Greenlight 'Central Ave'

    Fox TV Stations Greenlight 'Central Ave' From Will Packer, Debmar-Mercury

    Fox Television Stations has ordered the weekly entertainment news magazine “Central Ave,” which hails from prolific film and TV producer Will Packer and Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury. Debmar-Mercury and Will Packer Media will produce two half-hour shows per week of “Central Ave,” which tackles pop culture and other topics from a “socially conscious and diverse lens,” per [...]

  • Frontrunners Emerge As BBC's Tony Hall

    Frontrunners Emerge as BBC Boss Tony Hall Set to Leave Broadcasting Behind

    As the U.K. industry reacts to news of Tony Hall’s intention to depart the BBC this July, top-level executives including Charlotte Moore and Tim Davie as well as external contenders such as Channel 4’s Alex Mahon are beginning to emerge. Variety understands that Lord Hall, who has headed the BBC for seven years as director [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content