More people have been watching the Late Show With David Letterman than The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien recently. The recent viewing figures show Letterman is winning the ratings war with Tonight by a significant amount overall.
The New York Times says “On Wednesday [when Paul McCartney was a guest on the Late Show], Mr. Letterman had 4.4 million viewers to 2.5 million for Mr. O’Brien… Last week, Mr. O’Brien attracted 2.8 million viewers, below the previous low”.
However, they also say “The story among younger viewers, especially those between the ages of 18 and 34, continues to be much better for Mr. O’Brien. He was up 26 per cent in that group from Mr. Leno last year, though down 7 per cent among viewers between 18 and 49”.
The recent high-profile Late Show moments will no doubt have helped boost the ratings – the Sarah Palin joke “controversy” for example, and Sir Paul McCartney on the show last night.