Late Night Ratings: NBC’s ‘Tonight’ Surges in L.A. Return

The return of “The Tonight Show” to Los Angeles — its former home for more than 40 years — has produced sizable ratings gains for NBC this week.

Through three nights of its special telecasts from Universal Studios, “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” was averaging a 1.4 rating/7 share in adults 18-49, according to the 25 markets with Nielsen Local People Meters — its highest-rated Monday-through-Wednesday since last March (Fallon’s fourth week hosting show show).

Its performance was good enough to beat the combined averages of ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (0.6/3) and CBS’ “Late Late Show with David Letterman” (0.4/2) in the same 11:35 p.m. timeslot.

And in metered-market households, “Tonight Show” (3.3 rating/9 share) finished comfortably ahead of both “Late Show” (2.4/6) and “Kimmel” (2.1/5).

Compared to its Monday-to-Wednesday quarter-to-date average “Tonight Show” was up a big 40% in adults 18-49 (1.4 vs. 1.0) and 27% in households (3.3 vs. 2.6).

Wednesday’s show, which included visits from Vin Diesel and Kobe Bryant as well as a special “Saved by the Bell” reunion skit, delivered the top “Tonight Show’s” top 18-49 average in the LPMs (1.5/7) since late February (Fallon’s second week as host).

Fallon, who regularly hosts “Tonight” from Rockefeller Center in New York City, has consistently won its timeslot since taking over for Jay Leno nearly a year ago. Last week, even though it aired five encore telecasts, “Tonight Show” averaged a winning 0.80 national rating in adults 18-49, ahead of “Kimmel” (0.68 for his four originals and one repeat) and “Late Show” (0.49 for an all-original frame).

A special post-Super Bowl episode of “Tonight” on Sunday from Arizona averaged 9.8 million viewers despite its late 12:13 a.m. ET start time.


More TV

  • 'Parasite,' 'Jojo Rabbit' Win ACE Eddie

    'Parasite,' 'Jojo Rabbit' Win ACE Eddie Awards for Top Feature Films

    “Parasite” and “Jojo Rabbit” have won the top feature film trophies at the 70th Annual ACE Eddie Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Jinmo Yang won the dramatic feature category for “Parasite” over “Ford v Ferrari,” “Joker,” “The Irishman,” and “Marriage Story.” The victory marks the first time in ACE Eddie Awards history that a [...]

  • Gregg Smith, Dancer and Choreographer Assistant,

    Gregg Smith, Dancer and Choreographer Assistant, Dies at 73

    Gregg Smith, a dancer, casting director and assistant choreographer who had a long association with director Kenny Ortega, has died. He was 73. Smith died on Jan. 1. The industry veteran worked as a performer in the national touring company of the musical “Hair” and in a Los Angeles production of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” He [...]

  • Cynthia Erivo25th Annual Critics' Choice Awards,

    Cynthia Erivo Talks Singing Live on Set for 'Genius: Aretha'

    Cynthia Erivo confirmed the rumor that she is indeed singing live on set for “Genius: Aretha.” During the Nat Geo series’ Television Critics’ Association press tour pane, Erivo discussed how singing live allowed her to capture the voice and essence of the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin. “Singing is my second language, the rumor is [...]

  • Ramy Youssef, star of the upcoming

    TV News Roundup: Hulu Reveals 'Ramy' Season 2 Premiere Date

    In today’s TV news roundup, Hulu released premiere dates for “Ramy,” “The Great” and “Solar Opposites,” and Variety obtained an exclusive clip from “Duncanville.” DATES Showtime announced Mo’nique‘s new standup comedy special, “Mo’nique & Friends: Live From Atlanta,“ will air Feb. 7 at 10 p.m. The hour-long special features a variety of talented newcomers including Prince T-Dub, [...]

  • Armando Iannucci on Leaving 'Insult Heavy

    'Avenue 5': Armando Iannucci on Leaving 'Insult Heavy Political Dramas' Behind

    In a sketch from “The Armando Iannucci Shows,” a Channel 4 series from the “Veep” creator’s early catalogue, a couple tours a house with an eye to buying it. However, they discover that the property is, in fact, a paper drawing made by a bunch of youths with massive, life-sized crayons. Such commentary on the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content