David Letterman Tops Jay Leno in Younger Demo

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Is there a shift happening in late night?

CBS’ Late Show With David Letterman topped The Tonight Show in the adult 18-34 demographic for the first time since Jay Leno returned to host the NBC late-night talker, according to Nielsen ratings for the week ending Friday, March 4.

Late Show drew a 0.6 rating in the demo, while The Tonight Show averaged a 0.5. Both were tied in the adult 25-54 (1.3) and 18-49 (0.9) demos.

But it didn’t fare as well in total tune-in. Late Show averaged 3.62 million viewers for the week, while its Tonight Show competitor attracted 3.8 million viewers.

At points during Conan O’Brien’s brief stint as host of the Tonight Show, he was outdrawing Letterman in the 18-49 and 18-34 demos. In the second week, O'Brien drew roughly 1 million viewers to Letterman's 376,000 in 18-34 and 2 million to 1.1 million in 18-49.