Johnny Carson vs. Jay Leno -- Differences in ratings between ''The Tonight Show'' host and guest host

By Kate Meyers
Updated February 22, 1991 at 05:00 AM EST

The Tonight Show

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Rumors have been circulating that NBC would like Johnny Carson to take his golf swing out to the links after his contract expires next September and let Jay Leno permanently replace him on The Tonight Show. Sources say the reason is Leno attracts a younger audience, but recent numbers don’t add up that way.
CARSON: Total viewers Dec. 10-14: 7,050,000. Ages 18-34: men, 909,000; women, 924,000.
LENO: Total viewers Dec.17-21: 7,080,000. Ages 18-34: men, 867,000; women, 976,000.
Maybe the talk has something to do with Johnny’s $20 million contract, now under negotiation.

The Tonight Show

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