As Audience Swells, ‘Tonight’ Ads Are Sold Out

By Andrew Gauthier 


Looking to buy a TV commercial in the last episodes of “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien”? You’re out of luck.

“It’s sold out,” says one veteran media agency executive. An NBC spokeswoman had no comment.

O’Brien’s ratings have been soaring over the last two weeks, due to his ongoing verbal jousting with NBC executives about a proposal to shift the show to 12:05 a.m. — an idea he has rejected. The subject has dominated all his monologues.

Since that time, the show’s 18-49 ratings have averaged a 1.9 — around 50% above the 1.2 number he had been earning. All this has pushed competitor “Late Show with David Letterman” well down into second place, to around a 0.7 to a 0.9 rating among 18-49 viewers. More…