The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: NBC Spins Late Night Ratings

tonight show jimmy fallon ratingsLast 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?

Canceled and renewed TV show

6 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Lola Reglan says

    Bring LENO back. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This childish social media based show bores anybody over 35. What were you thinking NBC? And why the heck did you stick the unfunny robotic Seth Meyers in afterwards. Can’t wait for NBC to put on Stephen Colbert. Fallon is history on TV.

  2. Pat says

    I’m already bored with Fallon’s giggling and jigging around the stage endlessly swapping inside quips with his sidekick or the band. I’m not amused by his slapstick or parlor games with celebrities, nor his long pointless skits. I heard NBC wanted a younger audience, but I didn’t think the target demographic would be 12-15 year olds, which it evidently is.

    I’m disappointed in the show and will try to find another channel to provide a few laughs after the news.

  3. Watcher says

    I loved him on SNL. He was by far my favorite – incredible at sketch comedy and improv. But there’s something about him as a talk show host. I can’t put my finger on it. But something is definitely a little bit off.

  4. Rose says

    We watched it to see how he’d do. Not bad but also not enough to make us keep watching. He’s not that funny and his side kick is sooooo creepy. His only saving grace for me would be the “Thank you notes.” Unless he’s having someone on that we’d like to see, we won’t be tuning in. Gonna miss “Headlines”, Jay’s version of Jeopardy & “Jaywalking” the most.

  5. Howard says

    Fallon has little comic sense. He is starting out like Johnny Carson, but Carson had a soaring talent that soon took him to the top. Unlike Carson, Fallon has had a long running chance to hone his talk show skills and it is apparent he will not get it off the ground. I hope another network picks up Leno – he is the cream of the current crop.

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