It’s been a month since Jay Leno took back the desk on NBC’s The Tonight Show and as expected, he’s back in the winner circle. From March 1- 26, Jay Leno was No. 1 in late night among viewers (averaging 4.9 million) and No. 1 among adults 18-49 (1.3 rating/5 share). During the same period, David Letterman ranked second with 4.1 million and tied ABC’s Nightline among adults 18-49 with a 1.0/4. Jimmy Kimmel trailed in fourth with a .5/3 and 1.7 million viewers.
Leno still has some catching up to do if he wants to attract the same amount of viewers he did during the 2008-09 season. His season average at this point one year ago was a 1.4/6 among adults 18-49 and 5.2 million viewers. The Tonight Show lost some ground during Conan O’Brien’s now infamous but abbreviated run: he averaged a 1.1 rating among 18-49 and 2.7 million viewers.
During his first month back, Leno’s guests have included Hugh Jackman, Sarah Palin, Simon Cowell, Kristen Stewart, Betty White and Brett Favre.