Late Night Race Tightens, Nightline Finishes #2 in A18-49

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By SteveK Comment

The late-night race is tightening, as just 36,000 Total Viewers separated the three programs last week. NBC’s Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien finished first in all categories, followed by CBS’ Late Show with David Letterman and ABC’s Nightline. Nightline finished 2nd in the A18-49 demo, but a close third in the A25-54 demo and Total Viewers.

Letterman was in the headlines all week following his jokes about, and response to, the Palin family.

Compared to the first week of May, when Jay Leno was still hosting, the Total Viewer difference was more than 1.2 million between the three programs. Although the demo numbers have remained similar, the Tonight Show has seen a major drop in Total Viewers. Week-to-week, Nightline is up the most in both Total Viewers and the A25-54 demo categories.

For the week of June 8, 2009:

Show Network A25-54 Total Viewers
Tonight Show NBC 2.05M 3.77M
Late Show CBS 1.49M 3.67M
Nightline ABC 1.45M 3.41M