‘Nightline’ Takes Season’s Top Late Night Spot For the Second Year Running

By Merrill Knox Comment

For the second year in a row, ABC News’ “Nightline” topped NBC’s “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and CBS’ “Late Show with David Letterman” to be the most-watched late night program for the 2010-11 season.

“Nightline” also beat out the competition in the A25-54 demographic for the first time ever. The ABC News program was the only show to post a gain in that category, growing +4% for the season. CBS was down -7% and NBC was down -4%.

Of the 52 weeks in the 2010-11 season, “Nightline” was first for 32 weeks in total viewers, 29 weeks in A25-54 viewers and 27 weeks in A18-49 viewers, which gives them the most number of weeks at number one in each of the key target demos during the course of the season.

ABC’s ratings are based on a 25-minute broadcast, while CBS and NBC are based on approximately :50 minutes (prior to the final national commercial break of each program).

  • 2010-2011 Season:
Show Network Total Viewers A25-54 A18-49
Nightline ABC 3.94M 1.60M 1.24M
Tonight Show NBC 3.85M 1.58M 1.25M
Late Show CBS 3.34M 1.44M 1.07M