For the first time since December 2005, “The Late Show” beat NBC’s “The Tonight Show” in Households and total viewers with both running all new shows, so CBS is celebrating loudly. But while David Letterman’s Late Show closed the gap, Conan O’Brien still won the 18-49 demo in his third week as Tonight host.
The spin from CBS: Letterman delivered a 2.5/6 in HH with an average of 3.46 million viewers in week three of the battle, beating O’Brien’s 2.3/6 and 3.32 million viewers. Also, The Late Show narrowed the gap in Adults 18-49, trailing by only 0.5 ratings points.
The spin from NBC: O’Brien “dominated the week in every key demographic,” with 1.8 million viewers in the 18-49 demo versus Letterman’s 1.1 million. Noting O’Brien’s strength in the younger half of the demo, 18-34, NBC claimed that O’Brien’s audience averages 11 years younger than Letterman’s.