Leno Enters His Final Week as Tonight Show Host On a 15-Month High; Fallon Hits 4-Year High

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno - Season 22Jay Leno is poised to (again) end his Tonight Show reign on a high note, while successor Jimmy Fallon is exhibiting a growing following.

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Leno on Friday capped his penultimate week as host of NBC’s venerable late-night talker with a 3.9 rating, 9 share in metered-market households — The Tonight Show‘s best results since Oct. 24, 2012 (when President Obama paid a visit).

Guests for last night included Tim Allen, animal expert Dave Salmoni and musical guest Sara Bareilles. Leno’s run ends next Thursday.

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Jimmy Fallon’s Late Night in turn delivered a 2.2 rating and 7 share in metered-market households, that show’s best numbers since Feb. 12, 2010 (leading out of the Vancouver Winter Olympics’ Opening Ceremony).

Fallon’s Friday guests included David Beckham, David Steinberg and recording artist Busta Rhymes. His Late Night stint ends next Friday, and then he lays claim to The Tonight Show starting Monday, Feb. 17.

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  1. Eddie says:

    I don’t understand why you Americans never report about how many viewers a show gets. no one is interested in “demo ratings”

    • jj says:

      First, almost every ratings report Matt posts includes how many viewers a show gets as well as the rating. This post is a rare exception. So your comment about never is false. Secondly, the demo ratings are important as they are important to advertisers which it turns makes them important to television executive. They factor highly in decisions about renewing or cancelling shows, etc. So again your statement about no one being interested is false.

      • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

        Thank you for noting that truth; besides, P2+ (“total viewers”) is not available for late night shows the next morning, and certainly not on a Saturday. And lastly, to “Eddie”: The advertisers very much care (and only care) about the demo ratings.

    • Cory says:

      If you’re a fan and want to know how your show is doing the demo is the only thing you need to know. A show with 3 million viewers, if it managed to get a 2.5 is going to earn as much money as a show with 10.5 million viewers and a 2.5 demo rating. Which is why sometimes you’ll see reports on how The CW beat or nearly beat NBC…it’s because of the advertiser-important demo, and not because of the total viewers. So…basically *everyone* is interested in the demo ratings. :)

  2. Elin says:


  3. Pat D. says:

    I don’t get it…NBC made Conan move to L.A. to host the show, and Jimmy Fallon (whom I have nothing against, but lets be honest—Conan had far more of a legacy than Fallon has) gets to move the show back to NY?

  4. Damian says:

    I dont like Fallon and I do not think he is funny enough except with a pre-written scripts as in SNL. I dont see why Leno has to go where obviously it was not his show. Also to move the show to NY!!! come on…

  5. John Moshier says:

    I watch leno but Friday ratings go up against reruns on other talk shows

  6. dvikib says:

    I’m getting nostalgic for Jay already and he hasn’t left yet!
    I think NBC is retiring him too early.
    Nothing against Fallon but I prefer Jay.