TV Ratings: 11.3 Million Viewers Watched Jimmy Fallon's 'Tonight Show' Premiere

Stephen Colbert

Comedy Central star Stephen Colbert made it rain as he dumped a bucket of pennies onto Jimmy Fallon's desk, saying: "Welcome to 11:30, bitch!"

Jimmy Fallon's first Tonight Show brought in 11.3 million viewers. It's not as high as Jay Leno's 14.6 million-strong sendoff, but given the late hour and smaller Olympics lead-in, it's a strong sampling.

STORY: Inside The Late-Night Ratings Battle

Fast official ratings for Monday also lifted Fallon's overnights in the key demo. The host averaged a 3.8 rating among adults 18-49 -- putting him on par with Conan O'Brien's 2009 Tonight debut. Among total viewers, Fallon's episode ranks as the second-biggest since Leno's 2009 exit to 11.9 million. (O'Brien's premiere viewership was 9.2 million.)

Tonight saw an unusual launch on Monday. Though it no doubt benefited from its Winter Olympics lead-in, the special 12:05 a.m. airtime likely hindered it a bit.

Compared to his last episode of Late Night, Fallon was up 71 percent from 6.6 million viewers.