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Question to @thelivefeed via Twitter: “Got any guesses for numbers? 6mil? 7mil? Too much? I haven’t seen anyone game enough to guess yet.”
I’ve been pretty adamant that anybody who claims they know if Jay Leno will succeed is full of it because there’s too many new variables to make a prediction. Trying to guess his exact premiere number could be even trickier so I don’t blame anyone for feeling shy.
Now that I’ve stacked enough ego-sandbags against this post so I won’t feel too foolish tomorrow morning when the numbers come in, here’s my very wild guess:
> 15 million viewers, 4.9 adults 18-49 rating.
“Isn’t that way high?!”
Oh yeah. Extremely high. And it might not be high enough.
Here’s why: TV reporters are focused on the numbers Leno received as host of “Tonight Show” (4.8 million viewers, 1.4 adult demo rating).
But remember Conan O’Brien drew a huge 9.2 million viewers and a 3.8 rating for his premiere as host of “The Tonight Show.”
It’s extremely unlikely Leno’s debut at 10 p.m. will do less than O’Brien’s at 11:30 p.m. It’s not like there’s a bunch of competition stacked against him this week and NBC’s promotion has been enormous (say what you will about NBC and this move, the network’s publicity department has done a great job orchestrating Leno’s rollout).
My guess is actually more conservative than what I’m hearing — one NBC rival predicted an adult demo rating as high as 7.0, which is in the range of an NFL game or a low-rated outing of “American Idol.”
As for Day 2, Day 3 and beyond … who knows. Big drops definitely, but by how much? One insider predicted Leno would settle around 1.8 rating, which sounds about right.
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The Flight Attendant