Last night, Jimmy Fallon kicked off the very first edition of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon by thanking the Tonight hosts that came before him, “Steve Allen, Jack Paar, Johnny Carson, Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien, and Jay Leno.”
A parade of stars were on hand for the first episode, including late night veteran Joan Rivers who had been banned from Johnny Carson’s incarnation after she started her own show on FOX in the 1980s.
After the show, Fallon tweeted, “Thanks to all our friends who stopped by tonight! And special thanks to everyone who tuned in for our very first episode! #FallonTonight”
Here’s NBC’s take on the late night ratings:
Monday Late-Night Metered-Market Results:
The debut of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” has generated strong sampling at a special midnight start time following late local news and NBC’s coverage of the Sochi Winter Olympics.
Fallon’s “Tonight” debut last night averaged a 7.1 rating, 20 share in household results from the 56 local markets metered by Nielsen Media Research. That made it:
Easily the #1 non-Olympic telecast versus all primetime and late-night programming last night on ABC, CBS and Fox in metered-market households (#2 among non-Olympic programs was a 5.5/8 for ABC’s “The Bachelor”).
Higher-rated than all but two of last week’s primetime non-Olympic programs on ABC, CBS and Fox in metered-market households (for the week of Feb. 10-16, behind only Fox’s Wednesday “American Idol” and CBS’s Thursday “Big Bang Theory” encore, 7.4 each).
The night’s dominant late-night telecast.
The top-rated late-night talk-show telecast ever for Jimmy Fallon.
Up 48% versus the 4.8/13 for the Friday, Feb. 7 finale of “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” which aired at 12:05 a.m. ET following primetime Olympics coverage) and was Fallon’s previous high for a late-night talk show.
Tied for the second-highest “Tonight Show” overnights since Friday, May 29, 2009 (8.8/20, for Leno’s last telecast before Conan O’Brien took over as host), trailing over that span only the Thursday, Feb. 6 finale of “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” (9.2/22) and tied with the June 1, 2009 “Tonight” debut for O’Brien (7.1/17).
Up versus “Tonight’s” season-to-date average in the metered markets by +145% (7.1 vs. 2.9).
In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, the premiere of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” also generated solid sampling, averaging a 3.4 rating, 17 share in adults 18-49. It’s the top Local People Meter result ever for a Fallon-hosted last-night talk show (the prior high was a 2.3 on Jan. 22, 2010, the night of O’Brien’s last original “Tonight”).
The 3.4 rating in the Local People Meters is up 62% versus the 2.1/10 for the Friday, Feb. 7 finale of “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” airing at 12:05 a.m. ET following primetime Olympics coverage
Detailed Results in Late-Night Metered Markets Monday night:
In Nielsen’s 56 metered markets, household results were: “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” 7.1 rating, 20 share from midnight-1 a.m. ET; CBS’s “Late Show with David Letterman,” 2.0/5, and ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” 2.0/5.
In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, adult 18-49 results were: “Tonight,” 3.4/17 at midnight; “Late Show,” 0.5/2, and “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” 0.7/3.
From 12:35-1:05 a.m. ET, ABC’s “Nightline” averaged a 1.2/4 in metered-market households and a 0.4/2 in 18-49 in the Local People Meters.
From 12:35-1:35 a.m. ET, CBS’s “Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” averaged a 0.8/3 in metered-market households and a 0.2/1 in 18-49 in the Local People Meters.
NOTE: All ratings are “live plus same day” from Nielsen Media Research unless otherwise indicated.
What do you think? Do you think the new Tonight Show will continue to be a success? Will the ratings be as high as Jay Leno’s?