UPDATES NBC Admits It Was “Premature” To Declare Conan “New King Of Late Night”

More dueling late night news releases. So CBS is out bright and early this AM with its PR crowing that The Late Show with David Letterman has just posted its longest winning streak over The Tonight Show since 1995. And The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson is winning viewers for the 3rd straight week:

CBS’s LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN beat “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien” in viewers for the fourth consecutive week, according to Nielsen live plus same day ratings for the week ending July 31. This marks the first time LATE SHOW has notched four consecutive wins over “The Tonight Show” with first-run broadcasts since the weeks ending June 9, June 16, June 23 and June 30, 1995.

LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN delivered a 2.4/06 in households with an average of 3.38m viewers, up +9% in households (from 2.2/06) and +14% in viewers (from 2.96m) compared to the same week last year.

LATE SHOW beat “The Tonight Show” in households (2.4/06 vs. 1.8/05, +33%) and viewers (3.38m vs. 2.63m, +29%). In adults 18-49 and adults 25-54, LATE SHOW trailed “The Tonight Show” by just -0.2.

LATE SHOW also delivered more viewers than “Nightline” (3.36m) for the second consecutive week.

THE LATE LATE SHOW with CRAIG FERGUSON posted a 1.1/04 in households with 1.41m viewers, topping “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” in households (1.1/04 vs. 1.0/03, +10%) and viewers (1.41m vs. 1.29m, +9%) for the third consecutive week.


A few minutes later, NBC follows with its version of the ratings: that Conan grabs the July 27-31 week in 18-49 demographics over all cable and broadcast competition, while stretching his lead over Letterman:

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. August 6, 2009 – NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien” has taken the week of July 27-31 over all broadcast and cable competition in adults 18-49, stretching its advantage over CBS’s “Late Show with David Letterman” to a 34 percent margin of victory in 18-49 viewers, up from the prior week’s 29 percent win. Conan is up week-to-week by 6 percent in 18-49 viewers and 5 percent in total viewers.

“Tonight” delivered bigger audiences than CBS or ABC in the hour last week in every key demographic: adults, men and women 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54. NBC’s “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” also out-delivered CBS’s “Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” and ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” in every one of the key demographics.

In addition to topping all broadcast competition for the week, “Tonight’s” 1.4 million adults 18-49 out-scored every cable network in the hour, as well as Comedy Central’s 11 p.m. ET telecast of “The Daily Show” and the 11:30 series “The Colbert Report.”

Conan originals have ranked #1 versus “Late Show” on 40 of 40 nights since his June 1 debut (including a tie).

The median age of Conan’s audience last week was 46.4, more than 10 years younger than Letterman’s 57.8 and the 56.6 of ABC’s “Nightline.” Conan’s viewership is also younger than it was last year on “Late Night,” where the median age of his audience for this same week one year ago was 47.8.

At 12:35 a.m. ET last week, “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” led CBS’s “Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” by a 38 percent margin in 18-49 and a 64 percent margin in adults 18-34. Since his March 2 debut, Jimmy has ranked #1 or tied for #1 versus Ferguson in 18-49 on 102 of 105 nights. Last week, Jimmy also attracted a bigger audience in the valuable 18-34 demographic than did Letterman, despite Jimmy’s later start time.

For the week of July 27-31, Conan’s average 1.374 million adults 18-49 topped the 1.022 million of Letterman; in total viewers, Conan’s audience of 2.626 million persons trailed Letterman’s 3.376 million; and in adults 18-34, Conan’s 652,000 million out-scored Letterman’s 347,000. At 12:35 a.m. ET, Jimmy Fallon’s 734,000 adults 18-49 for the week out-delivered Ferguson’s 530,000; in total viewers, Jimmy’s 1.291 million trailed Ferguson’s 1.414 million; and in adults 18-34, Jimmy’s 357,000 topped Ferguson’s 218,000.

Editor-in-Chief Nikki Finke - tip her here.

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