Late-Night ratings, 'Nightline' No. 1 for first time, ever


“NIGHTLINE” is No. 1 beating ‘Jan Leno and David Letterman’, season to date among Adults 25-54 and total viewers for the first time since at least 1993.

For the just-completed 4th Quarter, ABC News’ “Nightline” ranked No. 1 among Total Viewers (3.93 million) and Adults 25-54 (1.61 million), beating NBC’s “The Tonight Show” and CBS’ “Late Show with David Letterman,” according to Nielsen Media Research.

(4th Quarter, 2010)   
                      TOTAL VIEWERS  A25-54(000)/ Rtg    A18-49(000)/ Rtg
ABC “Nightline”         3,930,000     1,610,000/ 1.3     1,270,000/ 1.0
CBS “Late Show”         3,600,000     1,570,000/ 1.3     1,170,000/ 0.9
NBC “Tonight”           3,880,000     1,590,000/ 1.3     1,290,000/ 1.0

This represents the first-time ever that “Nightline” outperformed its late-night rivals in Total Viewers during a 4th quarter. In addition, “Nightline” topped both the “Tonight Show” and the “Late Show” in the key Adults 25-54 news demo for the first-time-ever during the course of a quarter.

“Nightline” drew its largest Total Viewer audience during a quarter in a year (since 4Q09) and biggest Adults 25-54 audience in seven quarters (since 1Q09). “Nightline” defeated CBS’ “Late Show” during the 4th quarter in Total Viewers (330,000), Adults 25-54 (40,000) and Adults 18-49 (100,000), marking the 3rd consecutive quarter that “Nightline” bettered “Letterman” on all three measures.

“Nightline” delivered double-digit increases over the previous quarter across all three measures: Total Viewers (+16%), Adults 25-54 (+15%) and Adults 18-49 (+14%).   

Season to date, “Nightline” ranks first among Total Viewers and A25-54. This is the first time “Nightline” has been in first place at this point in the season since at least the 1993-94 Season, when “Letterman” began on CBS.

ABC News’ “Nightline” is anchored by Cynthia McFadden, Terry Moran and Bill Weir. John Donvan and Vicki Mabrey are correspondents. James Goldston is the executive producer. The program airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m., ET on the ABC Television Network.

(Source: ABC – The Nielsen Company, NTI Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 & Adults 18-49 Live+SD weeks of 12/20/10.  Live+7 (where available) & Live+SD for 9/20/10 – 12/24/10.  4Q10: 9/20 – 12/26/10.  3Q10: 6/28 – 9/19/10.)