Entertainment Weekly

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

President Obama appearance gives 'The Tonight Show' a big ratings boost

Posted on

Thursday’s much-anticipated appearance by President Barack Obama on The Tonight Show scored big overnight ratings among metered-market households. The NBC yakfest attracted a whopping 11.2 rating/26 share — Jay Leno’s best overnight performance since Jan. 24, 2005, when the show did a special tribute to Johnny Carson, and the fourth-biggest draw in his 16 years as host. The ratings come from 56 local markets metered by Nielsen; final numbers will come in March 26.

The fact that Obama was the first sitting U.S. President to appear on a late-night talk show certainly didn’t do any favors for the competition. Late Show With David Letterman averaged a mere 2.2/7 (though his program was delayed by basketball in some markets) while ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live clocked an anemic 1.4/4. That’s probably just as well, since Kimmel’s guest Christopher Mintz-Plasse (a.k.a. McLovin of Superbad) dropped an F-bomb while sitting on the couch (the moment was singled out on Defamer), although an ABC spokeswoman says the expletive was bleeped out for the central and pacific time zones.

Comments