“Jimmy Kimmel Live!” generally lags behind its late-night competition on CBS and NBC. Not so Monday night: Riding the wave of the biggest snafu in Oscar history, Academy Awards host Jimmy Kimmel became the momentary King of Late Night. In Nielsen’s metered market overnight ratings, which measure the top 56 markets in the country, Kimmel pulled in a 2.6 household rating. That easily topped Jimmy Fallon’s “Tonight Show,” which drew a 2.2 household rating, but perhaps more interesting is that he also edged out Stephen Colbert’s “Late Show,” which, despite featuring a widely publicized appearance by Jon Stewart, reeled a 2.5 household rating, right around its performance for the last few weeks. Kimmel also topped in the 25 markets with local people meters that measure the 18-49 demographic, notching a 0.8 to Fallon’s 0.7 and Colbert’s 0.6.
It’s unlikely Monday’s order of finish is indicative of a real sea change — as we see with shows that premiere after the Super Bowl, audience interest piqued by a single event seldom lasts. But for one night, at least, Kimmel got to bask in the spotlight.
Colbert, meanwhile, won the total viewership crown for the fourth week in a row for Feb. 20-25, drawing an average audience of 3.07 million. (Fallon remains in first place in the 18-49 demo, though.)
There was plenty of other action on the broadcast guide in primetime. NBC debuted the new show “Taken,” a prequel series based on the Liam Neeson film franchise, behind the premiere of the newest cycle of “The Voice.” “The Voice” continues to slowly tick down from cycle to cycle, though it premiered to a still-very-good 3.1 in the demo and an average audience of 12.99 million (down a couple tenths in the demo from the fall cycle’s premiere). “Taken” bowed to a 1.6 in the demo and 7.44 million viewers, slightly below the fall premiere of former slot occupant “Timeless,” which notched a 1.8 in the demo and 7.6 million viewers.
ABC’s “The Bachelor” had its usual strong performance with a 2.4 in the demo and 7.7 million viewers. Dustin Lance Black’s LGBT rights miniseries “When We Rise,” though, had a soft premiere, nabbing a 0.7 in the demo over its two hours and 2.95 million viewers.
“Man With a Plan” on CBS ticked down after a “Big Bang Theory” repeat, to a 1.2 and 6.62 million viewers. “Superior Donuts” and “2 Broke Girls” matched that demo rating, with the former bringing in 6.4 million total viewers and the latter attracting a crowd of 5.72 million. “Scorpion” drew a 1.1 and 6.81 million viewers.
Fox’s “24: Legacy” came in with a 1.0 in the demo and 3.97 million. “APB” settled into a 0.8 and 3.39 million.
Over on The CW, “Supergirl” ticked down to a 0.7 in the demo and 2.16 million viewers, as did “Jane the Virgin,” to a 0.3 and 940,000 viewers.
As a reminder, daily ratings fluctuations tend to amount to mere quantum foam; many of these series will see lifts of 50% or more once viewing within three and seven days is counted. However, most of those gains won’t translate to the ratings guarantees networks make advertisers.