Insofar as they cannot match the aura of the premiere, subsequent episodes of a new late-night talk show have very little chance of matching the ratings.
The second episode of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” did not beat the odds. It did, however, beat the second episode of “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien.”
In posting a 5.3 overnight metered market rating, Tuesday’s edition of “Fallon,” which featured Jerry Seinfeld, Kristen Wiig and Lady Gaga, retained 75% of its premiere audience.
Though its premiere delivered the same 7.1 overnight metered market rating, the second episode of “Conan” fell by a more notable 30%. That episode, which aired on June 2, 2009, delivered a 5.0 overnight rating.
The 5.3 for Tuesday’s “Fallon” represents the best Tuesday rating for a “Tonight” episode in seven years. It also exceeds the combined 4.1 delivered by CBS’ “Late Show with David Letterman” and ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”