8:35am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: Leno and Fallon Bring Best Wednesdays Since … Conan O'Brien
Jay Leno's and Jimmy Fallon's late-night ratings have been hitting highs for the better part of the last week, and Wednesday's penultimate Tonight Show under Leno proved no exception. But in the latest four-year high for Leno, his best overnight ratings since his 2010 return, the host actually posted the show's strongest Wednesday since Conan O'Brien briefly took the reins.
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Wednesday's Tonight averaged a 4.3 rating and an 11 share among metered-market households. The last time that night of the week brought such a high rating was June 3, 2009, when O'Brien was in the middle of his first week on the show. Leno easily beat competition Late Show With David Letterman (2.4 rating) and Jimmy Kimmel Live! (2.1 adults) — more than doubling the latter.
Fallon, too was at a four-year high. Late Night averaged a 2.1 rating and 7 share among households. And, as is the case with Leno, the show has not been so strong on a Wednesday since Leno's last exit helped lift the then O'Brien-hosted Late Night to a 2.2 rating.
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Tonight is also easily winning the demo race this week. In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, Tonight brought a 1.2 rating with adults 18-49. Jay Leno officially signs off on Thursday night with guests Billy Crystal and Garth Brooks.