It's Been the Worst Summer Ever for 'The Tonight Show With Jay Leno'
Funnyman Jay Leno won't have much to laugh about when he sees the new ratings figures for 'The Tonight Show With Jay Leno'. After a chaotic year of changing hosts, multi-million dollar pay deals and very public feuding between the Leno and Conan O'Brien camps, it seems as though viewers have voted with their remotes and switched off this summer.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Leno's attracting far fewer viewers in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic than Conan O'Brien did whe he hosted the show. And, just to pile on the misery, the show has also hit a new record summer low in 'Tonight Show' history.
However, it's not all dire news for Leno. He's still ahead of CBS's 'Late Show With David Letterman' in the ratings, though CBS has pointed out that unlike Leno, Letterman's ratings have held steady since last summer when he -- ahem -- also reached an all-time low.
Other late-night talk shows have also been holding steady, with NBC's 'Late Night With Jimmy Fallon,' CBS's 'The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson' and ABC's 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' maintaining their demographic averages, and Fallon and Kimmel even increased their audience numbers.
Network executives are reportedly hoping that the upcoming fall season will boost late-night ratings. An influx of new, primetime, scripted series like 'The Event' and 'Law & Order: Los Angeles' (NBC), and 'Hawaii 5-O' and 'Blue Bloods' (CBS) have been scheduled for the weeknight 10PM ET slot in the hope of attracting a larger audience to stay tuned for the late-night shows.
'The Tonight Show With Jay Leno' airs weeknights, 11:35 PM ET, NBC.