Jay Leno's 'Tonight Show' Now Draws as Many Young Viewers as it Did With Conan O'Brien

Conan O'Brien Appears on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno  - Episode Image - 2003
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The show also handily outperforms ‘Conan’ on TBS.

NEW YORK - For the first time since reclaiming The Tonight Show hosting duties from Conan O’Brien last winter, Jay Leno is attracting as many young viewers as O’Brien did as the host of the NBC show, the New York Post reported Wednesday.

It cited Nielsen figures for the fourth quarter of 2010 that show that Leno averaged a 1.0 rating in the adults 18-49 demo, pulling even with O’Brien’s performance a year ago. Leno also averaged nearly 4 million total viewers a night, compared to O’Brien’s 2.5 million average during the same period in 2009.

The next test comes this month as O’Brien’s final week of his NBC run a year ago drew about 5 million viewers a night, the Post said.

O’Brien’s new show, Conan, averaged about 1.3 million viewers a night in the most recent weekly Nielsen ratings, nearly 3 million less than Leno, the Post said.