Conan Opens ‘Tonight Show’ With Highest Overnight Draw Since ’05

The premiere of Conan O’Brien as host of veteran NBC franchise The Tonight Show opened with a hefty 7.1 rating/17 share in the metered markets last night. Overall, that was the highest overnight rating for a Tonight Show telecast on Monday since Jan. 24, 2005 (which featured a tribute to Johnny Carson); and seventh-highest rated for the night since Jay Leno took over as host on May 25, 1992. 

Comparably, the 7.1 overnight rating was up by 82 percent over The Tonight Show’s second-quarter average (3.9). And it beat CBS’ competing Late Show with David Letterman (2.8/ 7) by 154 percent, and ABC’s combination of Nightline (2.7/ 6) and Jimmy Kimmel Live (1.2/ 4—encore telecast) by an average of 264 percent.

The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, in addition, was Monday’s top-rated telecast in the metered markets in prime time. And it lifted lead-out Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to a 2.5/ 9 in the overnights—its best overnight rating to date for a Monday telecast.