TV Ratings: Jimmy Fallon's Post-Olympic Premiere Week Hits 20-Year 'Tonight' Best

The strong post-Sochi sampling averages 8.5 million viewers a night, while time-shifting pushes his premiere even higher.
Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake

Jimmy Fallon capped off a strong first week at the Tonight Show desk on Friday night, averaging 8.8 million viewers despite a shrinking audience for NBC's Sochi Olympics coverage.

With all five days of Fallon's first week as the Tonight host now accounted for, the series pulled a nightly average of 8.5 million viewers. That's more than double the prior season-to-date average and makes it the most watched week since the Cheers send-off drove NBC to highs in 1993.

Among adults 18-49, Fallon averaged a 2.8 rating through Friday. (Friday averaged a 2.9 in the demo, no doubt boosted by an appearance from Fallon's friend Justin Timberlake.) With adults under 50, Tonight earned its best week since 2005.

Interest in Fallon also extended to DVR. Though late night is not typically an area to see much of a boost from time-shifting, the Feb. 17 opener of Fallon's Tonight jumped from a 3.8 rating to a 4.9 rating among adults 18-49. That makes it the highest-rated Tonight since Leno's 1992 debut.