Leno’s Numbers

Since I no longer own the domain teamcoco.com (thanks Conan!) I thought I’d post this news here.

Now the latest numbers are out for “The Tonight Show” and they show Jay Leno winning the latest late-night battle while struggling when compared with longer-term views.

“Tonight Show” (4.4 million viewers, 1.2 adults 18-49 rating) led late-night last week among total viewers and the adult demo, compared with CBS’ “Late Show” (3.8 million, 1.0). That’s the good news for NBC and, truth be told, the most important news.

Then there’s all those nattering comparisons which pee in NBC’s breakfast cereal.

For the past couple weeks, Leno is down from comparable weeks last year, off by 13% in the demo and 3% in viewers. This week his median age is older than Letterman’s (56 for Leno; 54 for Letterman and, for the curious, Conan O’Brien averaged 46). Leno is barely topping Conan O’Brien’s average hosting “Tonight Show” (1.1) — and O’Brien had a far inferior lead-in (The Leno Show Which Shall Not Be Named).

So Leno is doing about the same demo rating as O’Brien only with a better lead-in and a decade older audience… The Hollywood Reporter

A few things to point out about these numbers, and the situation in general. NBC knew that Conan would be drawing less viewers when they agreed to let him take over. They also knew that his audience is considerably younger than Leno’s. That was kind of the trade-off, after all, the younger demographic is the most sought-after group in terms of advertisers. When you look back at Conan’s numbers, they were on par of what was expected demographic-wise. They might not have been as high as NBC would have liked, but as THR points out, Conan had a horrible lead-in. Viewers and critics alike hated The Jay Leno Show. In every sense of the word, it was a failure. If Conan was still hosting, without Jay as the lead-in, his numbers would have undoubtedly improved. They didn’t give him time. I hope the numbers continue to get worse for NBC/Leno, and if Conan competes in the same time slot, I think they will. I think NBC is going to eventually regret the stupid decisions they’ve made and I hope it’s sooner than later.

I would also like to point out that I’m still boycotting NBC. I find alternative ways to view the few NBC shows that I enjoy, but have not watched a single live program on the network (Note: I still watch the far-superior programming on USA Network, a subsidiary of NBC Universal).

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