The late night talk shows returned last Wednesday after two months of reruns caused by the still ongoing Writers Strike, reports Carat’s Broadcast and Video Beat. CBS’s programs returned with writers, due to a separate deal between the WGA and Worldwide Pants, which owns both shows; all other shows returned without their writers.
A first glance at the ratings shows nice rebounds for most shows, particularly The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, which was hardest hit in viewers due to the walkout. An exact year-ago comparison makes this initial picture a little murkier. Despite all the hype about the return of the programs, ratings are at best flat on the key advertiser target of Adults 18-49 with Leno down over 10% versus year ago. Even Carson Daly’s wee hours show showed slippage despite his Last Call series being first to come back with fresh episodes in November.
CBS’s Letterman and Ferguson shows also got nice post strike increases but are
flat on Adult 18-49 versus year ago.
ABC’s Nightline (unaffected by the strike) suffered from the fresh competition and
was down in the ratings as well. This kept its lead out Jimmy Kimmel Live from experiencing a post strike increase in ratings.