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Jimmy Fallon’s “Tonight Show” Debut Ties Conan’s in Overnight Ratings

The series premiere of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” did not match the figure posted by the second finale of “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” but it still delivered a strong number for NBC.

Monday’s premiere, which aired at 12AM ET, scored a 7.1 overnight metered market rating. The final Leno-hosted “Tonight” posted a 9.2 rating on February 6.

The “Fallon” number did, however, match the overnight mark posted by the premiere of “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien” on June 1, 2009. Save for the 9.2 for Leno’s most recent sign-off, it also (along with the Conan premiere) represents the best “Tonight Show” performance since Leno’s first exit on May 29, 2009 drew an 8.8.

It also represents a 48% increase over the final overnight number for “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.”

The series premiere delivered a 3.4 adults 18-49 rating in 25 markets with local Nielsen people meters.

Written by Brian Cantor

Brian Cantor is the editor-in-chief for Headline Planet. He has been a leading reporter in the music, movie, television and sporting spaces since 2002.

Brian's reporting has been cited by major websites like BuzzFeed, Billboard, the New Yorker and The Fader -- and shared by celebrities like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj.

Contact Brian at brian.cantor[at]


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