The beginning of the third week of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon saw the NBC host dip while his ABC rival Jimmy Kimmel Live! shot up. In metered markets results, Kimmel drew a 2.5/6 rating last night compared to Fallon’s 4.2/11. While the NBC show was No. 1 in the 11:35 PM slot, Kimmel’s results mark a 19% rise over last Monday’s 2.1/6 and the best the ABC show has done on a Monday against Fallon since he took over The Tonight Show on February 17. With NBC’s powerful primetime of The Voice and The Blacklist helping to lead him in, the first show of Fallon’s third week hosting The Tonight Show slipped 6% from February 24’s 4.5/12 MM rating. Still Fallon’s show last night was ahead of the 2.9/7 that Conan O’Brien got for the first show of his third week hosting Tonight on June 15, 2009. Last night’s Tonight Show also topped the 3.6/9 that Jay Leno pulled on the comparable night of his 2010 return to the late night franchise on March 15 that year.
With booking as the battlefield, the War of the late night Jimmys continued to rage with both Fallon and Kimmel kicking off the week with high profile guests. By that measure, the ABC late night host beat Fallon’s reunion with his former SNL Weekend Update co-anchor Tina Fey by having scandal ridden Toronto Mayor Rob Ford on. The besieged Canadian politician showed up on Jimmy Kimmel Live! after a weekend of hype and a cameo on the late night host’s annual Post-Oscars special. As well as having The Muppets on too, Kimmel also milked the Oscars more with a series of red carpet interviews from Sunday night with various celebs.
The new kid on the block did not have such a good night. The first broadcast of the second week of Late Night With Seth Meyers saw the show get a 2.0/7 metered market result. That’s a 23% drop from his debut result of 2.6/9 on February 24 and a 15% fall from Friday’s show. However, the former SNLer can take some comfort that his downward turn was not as harsh as what his predecessor suffered. The first show of Fallon hosting Late Night got a 1.6/6 on March 9, 2009. That was a 30% drop from the 2.3/8 of his March 2, 2009 debut on the show.
We’ll update with final late night numbers when the come in.
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.