The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon has brought in huge audiences for its premiere week.
NBCUniversal have released viewing figures for the first week of shows, saying on average 8.5m viewers tuned in to The Tonight Show across the week.
This is the biggest audience for The Tonight Show since the week of the Cheers finale back in 1993.
The official press release says “for the full week, Tonight averaged 8.490 million viewers overall, making it the most-watched week of The Tonight Show in 20 years (since the week of the Cheers finale, May 17-21, 1993, 9.080 million), despite four of this week’s five telecasts being moved to midnight ET start times due to Olympic overruns”.
Comparing this with Jay Leno’s Tonight Show, NBC report “the 8.490 million viewers for the week is up 112% versus Tonight’s prior season-to-date average of 4.011 million through Feb. 9”.
“Meanwhile, in preliminary time period-based affiliate ‘live plus three day’ results, time-shifted viewing has boosted Monday’s premiere from a 3.8 rating to a 4.9 in adults 18-49… that makes it the second-best Monday Tonight Show in L+3 in the history of Nielsen’s current People Meter sample, and highest Monday in the nearly 22 years since Jay Leno’s debut on The Tonight Show”.
Friday’s show was broadcast at 11.30pm and featured Jimmy Fallon favourite Justin Timberlake which helped boost ratings as well with NBCUniversal reporting it “grew versus the prior night’s midnight telecast to post the show’s strongest results since Monday’s series premiere” and “averaged a 2.9 rating in adults 18-49 and 8.778 million viewers overall to generate the show’s third consecutive night-to-night gain in adults 18-49”.
Jay Leno’s final Tonight Show didn’t do badly though where it was “the top-rated Thursday Tonight Show in L+3 in nearly 10 years, dating back to the pre-DVR era with the night of the Friends finale”.