'Late Show' wins with Obama appearance

Letterman beats late-night king Leno by a narrow margin

NEW YORK -- "Late Show With David Letterman" soared Wednesday with appearances by Sen. Barack Obama and Cleveland Cavaliers player LeBron James.

"Late Show" averaged a 4.1 rating/10 share in the Nielsen Media Research metered markets, the second-highest rating the show has received all year. Wednesday night's show managed to do the often out of reach, which was to beat late-night king Jay Leno and "The Tonight Show." But it wasn't by much, as Leno averaged a 3.9/10.

It was the fourth time this season that "Late Show" has beaten "Tonight." Much more common is a race for second place between "Nightline" and "Late Show." The CBS show beat "Nightline" (3.0/7) and "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (1.3/4) on Wednesday.

Obama's Letterman appearance had a little impact on the "Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson," which averaged a 1.9/7 in the metered markets compared with "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" (1.8/6).