David Letterman Beats Jay Leno in Coveted Younger Demo

Amid an overall ratings decline, the “Late Show” host has edged out his longtime rival in two key audience groups.

Despite a shrinking audience overall, the Late Show's David Letterman has posted a notable victory over his longtime rival, The Tonight Show’s Jay Leno, among younger viewers in its third week.

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For the first time since March, Letterman has earned a win in the 18- to 49-year-old audience (with 1.152 million viewers) and the 25- to 54-year-olds audience (with 1.461 million viewers), according to Media Decoder. Leno scored 1.097 million and 1.421 million, respectively.
The increase in viewers could be partially due to the primetime success CBS programs including 2 Broke Girls, Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory. Meanwhile, NBC’s primetime lineup is struggling across the board, which has likely contributed to falling numbers for Leno.

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Media Decoder also notes that Letterman has reverted back to his former production schedule, which sees two shows filmed on Thursday – rather than Monday – for a fresher Friday program.
Both late-night talkers still fell behind ABC’s Nightline, with 3.856 million total viewers, for the second week in a row.