TV Ratings: Jay Leno Hits 15-Month High Ahead of Final Week

Jay's Biggest Advisers
Austin Hargrave

Leno when asked who he turns to for advice: "There's a phrase I like, and it’s rather crude: 'Don’t fall in love with a hooker.' And that’s really what show business is. I have a wonderful wife. We’ve been together for 34 years. I have the same friends I had in high school. I have my guys who work in my garage, and then there are comedians like Jerry Seinfeld, Larry Miller and Jimmy Brogan. That’s the group."

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Jay Leno is prepared to go out on a high note. Less than a week ahead of his Feb. 6 signoff, The Tonight Show host sees his best overnight ratings in 15 months.

Friday's Tonight Show averaged a 3.9 rating and 9 share among households. The last time Leno approached those numbers was during the 2012 election when President Obama sat down for an interview. It was Tonight's biggest Friday showing since NBC's Olympics boost in July 2012.

THR COVER: Jay Leno In-Depth

It comes on the heels of Leno's second-highest rated week of the season with adults 18-49 -- averaging 1.249 million in the key demo between Jan. 20-24. 

Jimmy Fallon also scored a Friday lift, averaging a 2.2 rating among households, his best ratings in the 56 metered markets since Feb. 12, 2010 -- the night of the Vancouver Olympics opening ceremony.

Interest has been up for both broadcasts ahead of the changeover. Fallon scored his second-biggest 18-49 week this season as well during Jan. 20-24 with 824,000 viewers in the demo.

As far as competition, Friday saw Jimmy Kimmel Live! (2.0 households) in reruns. Late Night With David Letterman (2.5 households) still posted just more than half of Leno's rating.