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TV Ratings: ‘The Tonight Show’ Soars with President Obama Appearance

President Obama’s visit to “The Tonight Show” boosted Jimmy Fallon to his highest Thursday ratings in more than two years.

“Tonight Show” grabbed a 3.6 household rating/9 share in Nielsen’s 55 overnight metered markets, which cover about 70% of U.S. TV households. That was the show’s best overnight number for a Thursday episode since Feb. 20, 2014, which featured an appearance by first lady Michelle Obama.

In what might indicate the bipartisan nature of Fallon’s audience, the 3.6 rating matched the overnight rating delivered last Sept. 11 when Donald Trump guested. Aside from the Trump tie, it’s the highest overnight rating for a regularly scheduled “Tonight Show” episode since March 17, 2014, which yielded a 3.7 behind airings of “The Voice” and “The Blacklist.”

In adults 18-49, Thursday’s “Tonight” posted a 1.3/7 in 25 overnight markets, its best showing since the night of “Wiz Live!” airing on Dec. 3. Thursday’s episode also featured a guest shot and musical performance by Madonna.

The highlight of President Obama’s first appearance on Fallon’s “Tonight Show” was his “Slow Jam the News” segment — a reprise of a bit he did with Fallon in 2012 on the latter’s previous NBC series, “Late Night.”

Obama, who endorsed Hillary Clinton for president on Thursday, named the presidential hopeful in his jam, before taking a jab at her opponent Donald Trump.

“Since you’re here, I gotta ask, have you been watching all the election coverage this week about Donald Trump?” Fallon asked.

“No, but I have been watching my new favorite show: ‘Orange Is Not the New Black,'” Obama said.

Here’s the clip:

Elsewhere on Thursday night, NBC’s coverage of Game 5 of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals gave the Peacock a demo win, with the game earning a 1.4 in the adults 18-49 demographic. The game was bested by CBS in total viewers thanks to a repeat of “The Big Bang Theory,” which scored 6.6 million viewers versus the game’s 4.6 million. The comedy repeat scored a 1.2 in the demo.

On a quiet Thursday that mostly consisted of reruns, the finale of Fox’s “American Grit” earned a 0.7 demo score and 2.2 million viewers. The night’s only other original broadcast, The CW’s “Beauty and the Beast” was even with last week’s premiere rating of 0.2, drawing 0.8 million viewers.

NBC won the night in the demo with a score of 1.4 and an average of 4.6 million viewers, but CBS pulled past in total viewers, nabbing 4.8 million and a 0.9 in the adults 18-49 demo. ABC was third, notching an 0.8 rating and 3.2 million viewers, with Fox drawing 0.7 in the demo and 2.2 million viewers. CW brought up the rear with a 0.2 score and 0.8 million viewers for the night.

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