Strong debut for Conan


The post-Jay Leno era of NBC’s “Tonight Show” began with Conan O’Brien’s debut posting the highest overnights on a Monday for the show in more than four years. The 7.1 rating in Nielsen metered markets was up 82% over the show’s Q2 average.

According to NBC, Monday’s premiere telecast of “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien” generated “Tonight’s” highest metered-market household rating for a Monday edition in more than four years and the seventh-highest Monday in the 17 years since Jay Leno began his run as “Tonight” host in May 1992, based on in-home viewing figures from the 56 local markets metered by Nielsen Media Research.

O’Brien’s Monday debut show averaged a 7.1 rating, 17 share in metered-market households, “Tonight’s” strongest “overnight” results since January 24, 2005. That was not a show hosted by Leno, but rather a telecast featuring a special tribute to Johnny Carson.

Monday’s 7.1 rating in the metered markets was up 82% versus the “Tonight” second-quarter average of a 3.9 rating in the 56 local markets metered by Nielsen.

Compared to his final telecast of “Late Night” on February 20, Conan was up Monday by 173% (7.1/17 vs. 2.6/8).

O’Brien won won night’s time period by a 154% margin over CBS’s “Late Show with David Letterman” (7.1/17 vs. 2.8/7) and beat the combined results in that hour of “Late Show” and ABC’s “Nightline” (2.7/6) and “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (1.2/4 with an encore telecast).

In fact, “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien” was Monday’s #1 telecast in the metered markets, rating ahead of all primetime telecasts on all networks.