March 3rd, 2010
02:13 PM ET

Jay Leno does it again

For the second night in a row, the old/new host of "The Tonight Show" has taken the top spot in late-night rankings, albeit with fewer viewers than he had for his first night back on Monday.

According to Nielsen Media Research's fast national ratings, Leno had 5.8 million viewers Tuesday night, while David Letterman held fairly steady in rankings at 3.7 million (on Monday, he had 3.8 million) and ABC's "Nightline" attracted 3.3 million, versus the 4.1 million who watched Monday.

Leno had the same 1.6 rating in the 18-49 demographic that he had on Monday.

"Late Night" host Jimmy Fallon pulled in slightly fewer viewers at 12:35 p.m. than he had on Monday as well, coming with a total of 1.96 million overall, but that was still enough to come in at No. 1 in his time slot over Craig Ferguson's "Late, Late Show" on CBS, which had 1.92 million viewers.

Filed under: Late Night comedy • television

soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Nancy

    Jay was pulling in ratings in the 5+ range before he left the Tonight Show. He continued with 5+ on the Jay Leno Show. Now he's back doing the same. Conan never broke 4 (not even sure he broke 3), not even the first week or the last week. And was below 2 when NBC made their decision to move everything around. Below a 2 ratings was what Conan was pulling on the Late Show too. It seems both keep their core group of viewers no matter where they were. It's just that a 5 ratings wasn't enough for prime time, but is great for late night.

    March 4, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Dan, Washington, DC

    Really? People are making a cultural stand over late night talk shows? I've loved Letterman for years and he is clearly the best interviewer, but he turns me off when he gets so mean-spirited. I ended up watching Leno more because the first 30 minutes (before the interviews) were light-hearted and entertaining. I've never been a real Conan fan, but I am the first to say that when he has a bit that is on- no one touches him. With Conan, I just wait until the actual funny part makes the internet clip. If Dave would get the bitterness out, he could easily be number 1.

    March 4, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Guest8888

    People are only watching right now because they're curious. I refuse to support Leno. Not even for the drama with Conan-more due to the insult to my intelligence when he went on Oprah to try to spin it like he was just an innocent bystander.

    March 4, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Str8 Outta Tx

    polar opposite of funny, classy, humourous, or anything else you guys have to say.0 talent.none
    he should find himself a harmless hobby. perhaps alligator wrestling or cliff diving.

    March 4, 2010 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  5. Indamoneyz

    What desparate, lame jackA$$ leno is! wow 5.5 million viewers ! Howard Stern practicaly has 4 times the audience !

    March 4, 2010 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  6. Bruce

    Why do people care what other people think if entertaining. Watch what you want and everything takes care of it itself.

    March 4, 2010 at 2:48 am | Report abuse |
  7. jayleno

    I suck.

    March 4, 2010 at 2:22 am | Report abuse |
  8. Ketan K Shukla

    Jay Leno rocks!

    March 4, 2010 at 1:38 am | Report abuse |
  9. Jason Leneaux

    Yay Jay!!! I like it when he does jokes about the weather and when famous people are in the news. It's all so funny because it's true. And his desk is shiny and the curtains are sparkly!

    March 4, 2010 at 12:27 am | Report abuse |
  10. Ryan Williams

    Plus I hate Jay Leno and he is not funny, and I would never watch the show! GO HOWARD STERN! Dont listen to the Bible belt!!
    Go SiriusXM, and long live the KING OF ALL MEDIA!!

    March 4, 2010 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
  11. Ryan Williams

    Go Howard are right.......Leno will have a few good days! But they are Numbered!!! Stern Rules –

    March 4, 2010 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
  12. CWH - NJ

    All the network shows are tiresome and slow. For laughs and intellectual stimulation stick to Stewart/Colbert.

    March 3, 2010 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Lord David the Great

    I turned the TV on last night to see if they put Lam-o back on or kept The Daily Show. ( I live in Ontario )
    I don't even want to see his face on TV anymore. Ugh.

    March 3, 2010 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Unicornball Bill

    How is this even a news story? The real news story will be whether or not he can keep viewers over the next few months.

    March 3, 2010 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  15. mushymushroom

    I don't care about Jay Leno...

    But way to go Jimmy Fallon!!!! I love this guy...and his show...! 🙂

    March 3, 2010 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Carl

    I don't know why Leno is so popular. He's pleasant enough, and I guess a lot of people can watch him together.

    I always felt like Leno was just a slightly funny guy making short comments in a studio, while Conan had a whole atmosphere to go with his character. Conan's entire show just felt bigger. The gags were more extensive and ridiculous, much like Letterman 20 years ago.

    Other than when Leno is displaying goofy advertisements (which ANYONE could hold up and laugh at), I wonder why he even has a TV show. A podcast would pretty much capture all of his humor.

    March 3, 2010 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Ronaldo

    Conan and Letterman humor is for people with higher IQ. If Leno has better ratings simply means that smart people are the minority.

    March 3, 2010 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  18. janice

    I hope Jay makes The Tonight show number one again. I wonder why people are so against him, We Americans get so worked up over things that don't matter. I wish we would pay more attention to what is happening to the middle class and the jo situation. Jay, Letterman, Conan all these people are rich with no worries. We Americans should look at the big picture and not get side tracked by anything.

    March 3, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  19. LWT

    It will fade. I hope it gets abismal personally (I'm with Coco)...but it's only a matter of time.

    March 3, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Sylvia

    I would much rather watch Jay Leno than David Letterman and his dirty mouth and how he downs every body even himself, He comes across as stupid.

    March 3, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  21. HURLEY

    Not surprised – The Tonight Show was smart to have Palin as a guest

    i'm just thankful she isnt vice president – she makes a much better joker

    ( altho she's actually funnier when she's trying to be serious)

    March 3, 2010 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  22. David

    The same people watching this drivel are the same people who elected Bush to two terms. Jay Leno is a hack and a thief. Wonder what new bits he is gonna "come up with" (steal) now that he is back. Nobody cares anymore anyway.... first week will always bring high ratings....

    March 3, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  23. robert

    Didn't the Conan Tonight show start like this?

    March 3, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Scott

    Just goes to show that Americans love trash.

    March 3, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  25. LBW

    Up yours Howard Stern!

    March 3, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |

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