TV Ratings: Fallon and Meyers Thrive as New Late-Night Race Remains Intense
Kimmel hits a six-month high with a visit from Bill Clinton, and Letterman gets more aggressive in the booking wars, but NBC's dominance is unchallenged as its new lineup settles in.
Well into its second month, NBC's new late-night lineup is showing a great deal of endurance. The most recent week saw Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers' dominant ratings hold remarkably steady.
Fallon continues to ride a strong launch wave, eclipsing David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel combined with an average 1.33 rating among the key demographic of adults under 50 during the week of March 24. The week, which excludes Thursday and Friday on account of NCAA overrun for Letterman and a Kimmel repeat, saw Fallon with 1 percent of the week prior. It also marks a 75 percent improvement from Jay Leno's Tonight Show performance during the same period last year -- a more than reassuring sixth week for NBC.
An average 4.3 million viewers also outpaced his competition, albeit by a smaller margin, with Letterman (2.85 million) and Kimmel (2.7 million) both up from the previous period last year despite the rise in competition.
Meanwhile, Meyers continues to win the comparatively quiet race at 12:35 a.m. Last week his 0.7 rating in the key demo continued to beat both Letterman (0.53 adults) and Kimmel (0.65 adults) in the earlier hours and actually improved 4 percent from the week prior. He's up only 43 percent from Fallon's same week at Late Night last year.
And the competition is not slacking. Letterman has seemingly upped his booking game, nabbing a Lady Gaga performance and a visit from Lindsay Lohan and setting a rare sit-down with Jimmy Carter.
Former presidents generally bring good ratings. Kimmel welcomed Bill Clinton on Wednesday night and matched a six-month households high in the process. Though he still placed second to Fallon, he topped the Tonight host in the desirable New York and Los Angeles markets.
Craig Ferguson, for his part, had a stunt of his own this week: switching jobs on April Fools' Day with The Price Is Right host Drew Carey. The Late Late Show remains virtually even with its performance at the same time last year.