Jay Leno's 'Tonight Show' Ratings Drop Below Conan's
Leno is in no laughing mood.
Jay Leno may have won the battle for The Tonight Show, but it's looking more and more like Conan O'Brien is winning the war. Ratings-wise, the lantern-jawed comedian had his worst summer ever.
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In what is arguably the most imortant demographic for advertising dollars, 18-49, Leno posted ratings that were 23 percent lower this summer than they were last year, when O'Brien was host of The Tonight Show.
Overall, summer 2010 is the lowest rated in the history of the late night show.
However, Leno's show has averaged 3.8 million viewers since May, enough to beat his longtime rival David Letterman. He tops Letterman by a large 22%.
As for the other late-night talk shows -- NBC's Late Night With Jimmy Fallon," CBS' "The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson" and ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! -- all are at least holding steady.
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Ratings for The Tonight Show plummeted when Conan O'Brien took over last year, prompting NBC to reinstate Leno. The ensuing dispute was comedy gold for O'Brien, who ended up with a whopping settlement and plans for a new show over at TBS.