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October 10, 2015

Ferguson tops Conan for the first time

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 12th 2008 10:09AM
Craig FergusonThings are heating up in the late, late night wars. That's the 12:35 AM talk shows, as opposed to the late night 11:35 shows. In the most recent Nielsen ratings, Craig Ferguson's CBS Late Late Show rated higher than Conan O'Brien's Late Night. That's the first time that's ever happened, and industry analysts are scratching their heads to figure out if this is the pendulum swinging in CBS's direction, or simply a minor glitch in NBC's late night dominance.

NBC has declared that it supports Conan O'Brien completely and is unconcerned about the gradual shift in the numbers that have been going on for a while. It's in NBC's interest that Conan remain a strong player, especially since he will be taking over the Tonight show in the near future -- once Jay Leno's contract comes to an end in 2009. While tipping its cap to Ferguson for the ratings victory, NBC also noted that in the 18-49 demographic, Conan is still the leader in that time slot.

Peter Lassally, once executive producer of Tonight when Johnny Carson was the king of late night, then served on the Late Show with David Letterman, and is currently Craig Ferguson's exec producer, thinks his guy is on the upswing. "He's getting looser and looser all the time and for the last few months it's clear that he's having such a good time that you can't resist it as a viewer."

Nobody would ever accuse Conan of being uptight, but it would seem that Craig Ferguson has found a niche and could be developing a strong following. He recently became a U.S. citizen -- he was born in Scotland -- and in May he's going to host the annual White House correspondents' dinner which will put him in a very bright spotlight. It's one of the top political comedy events of the year.

[via Mediabistro]

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And I thought that everyone turned in early. How nice to have been wrong! I really enjoy Ferguson's monologues and on-air personality.

April 29 2008 at 11:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

When I read the headline, I thought I was the guy who shifted the ratings. Then I read the comments and realized it took about 4 people. Ferguson has really improved recently. He is more loose and that makes it more fun. I used to be bored by his show, but it has turned around. At the same time, Conan has dropped off considerably. There was some fun during the strike, but other than that, the show has been pretty stale. I still normally turn to Conan first though and it also depends on the guest.

April 15 2008 at 1:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Carissa, are you serious? That is the part of Ferguson that I dislike most, he does multiple sound effects every single night, it just gets old. It would be a little different if it was like Letterman's throwing his cue card and having "the window break". Letterman just does it and doesn't make a big deal out of it, but Craig does 3 or 4 in a row & seems to think it's the funniest thing ever. Ferguson is a funny guy & some of the bits he does are great, but the sound effects bore me to tears.

As far as Leno & Conan, I really don't care much for Leno, but I will watch his show sometimes (while taping Letterman for later). Bt I'll never watch the Tonight show again when Conan takes over. Can't stand him, have never found him funnt at all.

April 13 2008 at 3:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Craig Ferguson is funny as hell. Conan has always been just a tad uncomfortable; a bit stiff to me. To each his own. I feel like Craig would be so much fun to be around.

I'm curious about the "sound effects" that someone mentioned. I must miss that when I watch every night. He doesn't do a skit every night, and spends more time just being Craig than acting.

To each his own; but I'll take Craig.

April 12 2008 at 11:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joey Geraci

God, the last time I watched Craig, when he had Huckabee on, it was the most painful performance I had ever seen, and Huckabee literally wiped the floor with him in every department (funny, entertaining, witty, didn't make me want to bore a nail through my skull at his attempt to be funny). Craig would have to be nearly a different person to make me watch today.

April 12 2008 at 2:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

While I've only seen a few minutes of craig ferguson, it seems he only plays silly sound effects like a cheap DJ on a morning radio show. I'm not surprised Conan is losing viewers to him, who could compete with that? The average TV viewer has an IQ of 40 (which by definition means half are dumber than 40).

April 12 2008 at 2:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bruce's comment

Conan's humor isn't always something that could be called classy or intelligent. Case-in-point: the masturbating bear.

April 12 2008 at 4:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wha-hey! Scotland forever!

April 12 2008 at 1:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Lucky me, I can watch Conan's monologue and then switch to CBS and catch Craig's monologue...They squeeze in the Inside Edition in between Letterman and Craig. But I have to say Craig seems to do what he wants on the show; whereas Conan seems forced to do stupid stuff that you just can't help to laugh at. I hope Craig continues to stay on the Late Late Show with all the rumors saying he doesn't want to continue within the next few years.

April 12 2008 at 1:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jeff N.

I wish CBS would be smart enough to show Craig Ferguson's show in HD. He would then be on even footing with Conan O'Brien and likely win every night.

April 12 2008 at 11:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I had been watching Craig's monologue and then switching over to Conan. Lately, however, I find myself staying with Craig unless there is really someone I want to see on Conan. As the writer's strike proved with Leno vs. Letterman, people are more drawn to the host rather than the guests or the comedy.

April 12 2008 at 11:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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