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Jay Leno fans are most likely to be wealthy Republican, red wine drinkers who like Fox News, support the Tea Party and drive American cars.
Conan O’Brien viewers are largely independent voters who enjoy vodka drinks, watch Comedy Central and are most likely to be single atheists who own Volkswagens.
That’s the just the start of the surprising revelations found in an extensive late-night poll appearing in the first issue of Hollywood Reporter’s new weekly magazine. The survey was conducted by Penn Schoen Berland, a global research company that specializes in political and entertainment consulting, from a sample of regular late-night viewers ages 18-65.
In addition to discovering the most common characteristics late-night host audiences, the poll found only 35% of respondents knew O’Brien is launching a show on TBS and that most (45%) said David Letterman is the best interviewer.
Asked who they would watch if all the late-night hosts were on at the same time, Leno comes out on top (23%) followed by Letterman (15%), O’Brien (11%), Jon Stewart (10%) and George Lopez (10%).
Other findings: Conan O’Brien’s messy divorce from NBC has viewers blaming the network. A whopping 73% said NBC was at fault for the way O’Brien exited the company, with 18% pointing the finger at Leno and 9% blaming O’Brien.
Along those lines, 36% say Leno came out on top of the shakeup, with 21% backing O’Brien, 15% for Letterman and 14% of votes for both NBC and TBS. Most viewers say the shakeup didn’t impact their viewing habits, though 40% claimed it made them less likely to watch NBC.
But some of the most intriguing results were from the personality details of each host’s audience. In addition to details about Leno and O’Brien fans, the study found Letterman’s audience were Democrats who watch Showtime and CNN, are more likely to be divorced, listen to classic rock and drive a Toyota. Daily Show host Stewart’s viewers were, no surprise, largely Democrats who watched MSNBC and AMC, drank beer and were most likely to be married and Catholic.
Given a list of personality adjectives, viewers said “mean spirited” and “smart” best described Letterman, “outdated” and “whiny” fit Leno, while “trustworthy” best represented O’Brien.
To download the complete poll results as a PDF, click here.
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