Conan’s debut attracted 4,155,000 total viewers last night, with 3,285,000 viewers in the key demographic of adults 18-49, according to early ratings estimates.Approximately 2.8% of households among Nielsen’s 56 metered markets watched Conan, whereas Leno’s show drew a 2.7 rating and Letterman’s drew a 2.5 rating.
Keep in mind that these are not head to head comparisons. Conan’s show begins a full half-hour before Leno’s or Letterman’s.
Over on cable, The Daily Show drew a 1.5 rating, and The Colbert Report drew a 1.1 rating.
TBS expects Conan to carry over a million viewers on average — a number far smaller than the broadcast late night shows. So his debut ratings are a very, very good sign.
As Conan joked during last night’s monologue, “This is an exciting night. I’m glad to be on cable. The truth is, I’ve dreamed of being a talk show host on basic cable ever since I was 46.”
Final ratings figures will not be available until later today.
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