UPDATE: For Jimmy Fallon’s first full week, The Tonight Show averaged 8.490 million viewers, making it the franchise’s most-watched week in 20 years, since the week of the Cheers finale, May 17-21, 1993, 9.080 million. All five telecasts followed Olympics primetime coverage, with four of the five pushed to midnight.
PREVIOUS: Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake did it again. After recently delivering record ratings for their teaming Saturday Night Live, the dynamic duo helped close out Fallon’s premiere week on The Tonight Showon a high note. The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon last night drew a 6.1 household rating in the metered markets, up 15% from Thursday for a second consecutive night of ratings gains and the best number since Fallon’s Monday debut for an impressive string of first week nightly averages of 7.1, 5.3, 5.2, 5.3 and 6.1. What’s more, he accomplished the 15% night-to-night ratings increase while NBC’s primetime average fell 29% from Thursday. Fallon ended his premiere week within 14% of his premiere vs. 49% for the last guy to succeedJay Leno, Conan O’Brien. He once again dwarfed his broadcast competitors, David Letterman (2.1) and Jimmy Kimmel (1.9 with an encore). In the markets with people meters, last night’s Tonight Show posted a 3.0 rating, up 25% from Thursday and off only 12% from the Monday premiere (full week track: 3.4, 2.3, 2.2, 2.4, 3.0). Of course, Fallon had the strongest week-long primetime lead-in possible, the Olympics. He will get more help from NBC’s primetime on Monday and Tuesday when The Voice returns, and will likely face its first real test on Thursday where he will have to hold his own with little help from NBC’s low rated Thursday lineup. Meanwhile, it will be his ABC rival Jimmy Kimmel’s turn to get a big boost next week when he will host his annual post-Oscar special.