8:56am PT by Michael O'Connell
Jimmy Kimmel's 11:35 Debut Topped by Jay Leno
Jimmy Kimmel is now Live! an hour earlier -- and on his first outing in late night's prime 11:35 p.m. slot, updated returns have the ABC comedian losing his early first place finish, coming in a close second place to Jay Leno (NBC).
Preliminary Nielsen numbers gave the broadcast a 2.8 rating and 8 share in households (over Letterman's 2.7/7 and Leno's 2.4/6), but True Fast Nationals have the broadcast losing its edge to The Tonight Show but still topping David Letterman.
In total viewers, Jimmy Kimmel Live! posted 2.1 million viewers, shy of Leno's 2.27 million. Letterman earned 1.9 million viewers in the same time period. Not as exciting as the early projections, but the returns still give Kimmel his second most-watched broadcast ever.
Markets with Local People Meters also give Leno a slight edge in adults 18-49. Leno pulled ahead with 1.084 million viewers in the targeted demographic, which gives The Tonight Show a healthy lead above Kimmel's 887,000 in the group. Letterman pulled 683,000.
In the fourth quarter of last year, Live! was averaging a 0.5 rating and a three percent share with adults 18-49. The average night also saw Kimmel pull 1.9 million viewers.
During that same period, Leno's Tonight Show earned a 0.8 adults rating and 3.5 million viewers. The Late Show had a 0.7 adults rating and 3.1 million viewers. Nightline, only a half-hour, topped them all with a 0.9 adults rating and 3.9 million viewers.
In its own time slot debut, Nightline opened with 1.72 million viewers in the first half-hour of Kimmel's old spot.