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Late-Night Ratings: Even in Repeats, NBC’s Fallon and Meyers Dominate Rivals

There’s no stopping NBC’s late-night duo of Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers, which last week dominated their talk-show competition in key demos even with encore airings. Since the start of the television season, the NBC hosts have now swept 25 of 25 weeks in both key demos and total viewers.

It continues to be a tight race, meanwhile, for second place behind Fallon at 11:35 p.m. between ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and CBS’ “Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” The former has been winning most recent weeks in the 18-49 demo (some very narrowly) while the latter has consistently placed second in total viewers. Colbert had a great opportunity to pick up new viewers with his huge platform following the network’s coverage of the Super Bowl on Feb. 7, but that never translated into any meaningful ratings boost.

Looking at the Nielsen estimates for the March 7-11 frame, “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” led all late-night programs with a 0.80 rating in adults 18-49 (1.03 million in the demo). Even in encores, this is a bigger young-adult tune-in than every week of any other late-night host during the past six months. (Colbert’s premiere week in early September did rate higher with a 0.94.)

In the 11:35 p.m. battle last week, “Tonight Show” rebroadcasts beat Kimmel’s four nights of originals in adults 18-49 by a 51% advantage (0.80 vs. 0.53) and Colbert’s first-runs by a 63% margin (0.80 vs. 0.49). Fallon also prevailed in total viewers (2.945 million), winning rather easily over “Late Show” on CBS (2.419 million) and “Kimmel” on ABC (2.376 million).

Kimmel has now pulled ahead of Colbert in adults 18-49 for three straight weeks and five of the last six. And after consistently lagging the CBS newcomer in adults 18-49 in their early months, the ABC host has now also won this category three straight weeks (last week by 5%, 199,000 to 189,000).

At 12:35 a.m., NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers” delivered a 40% margin of victory in 18-49 over CBS’ “Late, Late Show with James Corden” (0.42 vs. 0.30) and a 31% advantage over ABC’s “Nightline” (0.47 vs. 0.36 in their head-to-head 12:30-1 a.m. half-hour). Meyers equaled the year-ago week in 18-49 while growing by 5% in total viewers (1.439 million vs. 1.369 million), beating Corden (1.244 million) as well as edging out “Nightline” head-to-head (1.615 million to 1.584 million).

Also for NBC, the 1:35 a.m. “Last Call with Carson Daly” grew 17% vs. the same week last year in 18-49 (0.28 vs. 0.24) and 14% in total viewers (908,000 vs. 798,000).


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