'Conan' Ratings Level, But Stays Solid With Rivals

TBS' "Conan" came back down to earth in his second week -- as expected -- but is still competitive with the bigger late-night broadcast network shows.

Through the first four nights of his second week on the air, "Conan" averaged 1.72 million viewers -- a 41% drop from week one, where he had 2.9 million. In the second week, "Conan" also averaged 1.29 million adult 18-49 viewers, a 40% drop from the 2.16 million in the first week. So far, through four days of his second week, "Conan" has been averaging 822,000 adult 18-34 viewers.

Looking at ratings of key 18-49 viewers "Conan" had roughly a 1.6 rating for his first week, and a 1.0 rating for his second week (through Thursday). Final numbers aren't in, but it seems "Conan" stayed competitive with the big boys -- NBC's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and CBS' "Late Show with David Letterman" -- in week two.

For example, on Thursday night, Nielsen's preliminary ratings for adult 18-49 viewers gave "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" a 1.1 rating/5 share, and the "Late Show with David Letterman" a 0.9/4. ABC's "Nightline" still reigns as the best among all programming, with a 1.2 rating/5 share. ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" earned a 0.7/4.



Through the first eight weeks of the new season, both "Leno" and "Letterman" are averaging identical numbers when it comes to total viewers, at 3.7 million. NBC claims a 49% gain versus last season -- 3.691 million vs. 2.482 million (when Conan O'Brien was in the "Tonight Show" chair), while "Late Show" is down 16% to 3.620 million vs. 4.294 million.

Through nine days, "Conan" is averaging 2.4 million -- but the show is trending under the 2 million mark as it settles in. Brad Adgate, senior vice president and corporate research director for media agency Horizon Media, says: "The issue is whether it has plateaued -- or will it drop further like TBS' "Lopez Tonight" had done."

Other late-night shows for the first two months of the season: CBS' "Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson," 1.8 million total viewers; ABC's "Kimmel," 1.7 million; NBC's "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon," 1.7 million; Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" 1.4 million; Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report," 1.1 million; and NBC's "Last Call with Carson Daly," 1.0 million.

The overall leader is ABC's "Nightline" at 3.9 million viewers.

NBC also says there has been a 7% improvement with "Leno" over a year ago in 18-49 viewers, when Conan O'Brien was host of "The Tonight Show, rising to 1.3 million from 1.2 million. The network says it has pulled away -- albeit slowly -- from "Letterman" this year. "Late Show" has lost 13% of its 18-49 viewers, to 1.197 million.

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