The local demographics for “The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Late Night with Seth Meyers” during the May sweeps illustrate why NBC felt it was time for Jay Leno to go and take his act exclusively on the road.
Channel 2’s household ratings at 11:35 p.m. only went up 10 percent to a 4.4. But Fallon’s ratings among viewers 18-49 more than doubled and they almost doubled in the 18-34 and 25-54 categories as well.
Interestingly, his 25-54 numbers were more appealing among females. He more than doubled Leno in that category, while his numbers with men were only about 20 percent higher. The word “only” should be in quotes because a 20 percent gain is pretty impressive.
Fallon’s rating in the 18-34 category is six times what “Late Show with David Letterman” receives on Channel 4 and Fallon’s 18-49 rating is almost twice that of Letterman. It isn’t as if Letterman is doing that badly in demographics as he approaches the end of his run before Stephen Colbert takes over in search of younger demographics. Letterman’s ratings in the age 18-49 category grew about 45 percent here from a year ago and he almost doubled his 25-54 rating.
Fallon’s 18-34 rating also is six times that of Jimmy Kimmel on Channel 7, his 18-49 rating is about five times higher than Kimmel and his 25-54 rating six times as high.
From the May sweeps, it looks like Fallon is taking more viewers away from Kimmel here than from Letterman. Some of that has to do with the weakness of Channel 7 as an ABC affiliate.
Meyers’ program at 12:35 a.m. isn’t quite the success of Fallon’s here, but he has improved every category from a year ago when Fallon had the program and wins over CBS’ “The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson” in the age 18-34 category by a 2-1 margin. Meyers also wins 18-49 by a slim margin, but Ferguson surprisingly wins among 25-54 viewers. From the looks of the May sweeps, Ferguson will be missed here when he ends his run at the end of the year.