'Letterman' Ends On A High Note, Nabs Nearly 14M Viewers

David Letterman pretty much ended up where he started on CBS with big TV ratings, dominating all late-night TV and pulling in many entertainment advertisers along the way.

His last effort hosting CBS’ “Late Show with David Letterman” pulled in the best results in over 20 years (since February 1994) -- averaging 13.76 million viewers, according to Nielsen preliminary ratings. It easily bested all late night competitors.

“Late Show” also pulled in a big 3.1 rating among 18-49 viewers and a 4.1 rating among 25-54. Estimates were that “Late Show” earned nearly $180 million in annual advertising revenue in recent years.

“Late Show” started up in August 1993, debuting with 23 million viewers. It dominated late-night TV for two years until 1995, when “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” became No. 1 in the daypart. Before “Late Show” Letterman hosted NBC’s “Late Night” running from 1982 to 1993.



Those advertisers benefiting from the big results of the Letterman’s last show included many theatrical movies and TV shows.

Theatrical movies that ran commercials included: Universal Pictures “Ted 2”; Paramount Pictures’ “Terminator: Genisys,” Columbia Pictures’ “Pixels,” Universal Pictures’ “Jurassic World,” Columbia Pictures’ “Aloha,” 21th Century Fox’s “Spy,” Disney-Pixar’s “Inside Out,” Warner Bros’ “San Andreas,” Warner Bros’ “Entourage,” Paramount’s “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation,” Walt Disney’s “Tomorrowland” and Universal’s “Ex Machina”.

TV shows advertising on “Late Show” included: HBO’s “True Detective”; History’s “Texas Rising”, a new series event; FX’s “Tyrant”; and Netflix’s “Grace & Frankie.” CBS promoted shows summer series “Zoo,” “Big Brother,” and “The Briefcase” as well as for “Late Late Show with James Corden.”

Internet company advertisers included Expedia, Amazon Prime, Kayak, Apartments.com, Realtor.com, and Hotels.com. Car companies Audi and Ford Fusion bought multiple spots. Technology companies included Apple’s iWatch, Samsung’s Galaxy S6/SG Edge, and DirecTV.

1 comment about "'Letterman' Ends On A High Note, Nabs Nearly 14M Viewers".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, May 21, 2015 at 5:26 p.m.

    Nice finish. Not nearly as big as Leno's final show, but still a big audience.

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