Never mind about primetime, NBC is asserting its bragging rights to the network shows before and after primetime. That’s news and late night.
After winning his debut week as the new host of “The Tonight Show,” as was expected, NBC was bragging that Conan O’Brien also won his second week in the time slot, besting David Letterman’s “The Late Show” on CBS and ABC’s “Nightline” in adults, men and women 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54 – and in total viewers. NBC noted that O’Brien beat Letterman by a 79% margin in adults 18-49, the big money demo, despite the headline-grabbing controversy between Letterman and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.
“Conan continues to out-perform our most optimistic expectations. This business is all about delivering the key demographic groups, and for Conan to dominate every important demographic through his first two weeks is a real ratings home run,” said Rick Ludwin, Executive Vice President, Late Night and Primetime Series, NBC Entertainment.
For its part, CBS noted that Letterman beat O’Brien in total viewers for three of the five days last week. The Eye Net said “Late Night” was in its closest competitive position to “The Tonight Show” since December 2005.
As for the pre-primetime network evening newscast duel: “According to Nielsen Media Research data, ‘NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams’ was the most-watched network evening newscast, winning the week of June 8-14, 2009. During the week, the Williams-led newscast was 8.271 million total viewers,” NBC declared
“Nightly” has won for 35 consecutive weeks in total viewers, and for 29 straight weeks in A25-54, according to the NBC announcement.