Conan O’Brien’s first The Tonight Show started off on a strong note, drawing a 7.1/17 HH rating/share in Nielsen’s metered-market overnights. The rating is an 82% improvement over the second-quarter average of The Tonight Show (3.9) and an even more impressive 173% above what O’Brien averaged for his farewell appearance on Late Night with Conan O’Brien in February (2.6).
“Obviously, everyone has all eyes on these transitions,” said NBC Entertainment/Universal Media Studios co-chair Ben Silverman. “But it’s about long-term strategy. The last (host change) we made with ‘Tonight Show’ lasted 17 years. It’s not necessarily about any one night as it is about the next few years.”
Jay Leno’s final show last Friday drew an 8.8/20 HH rating/share.