Leno's "Tonight" Show Ratings Dip Below Conan's

Jay Leno is seen on the "Tonight" show on March 1, 2010.
AP Images/NBC
NEW YORK (CBS) Jay Leno's "Tonight Show" ratings aren't giving NBC anything to laugh at.

The summer ratings for the late-night host's "Tonight Show with Jay Leno" were the lowest on record for the long-running program, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Leno is also pulling in a smaller number in the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic than his predecessor, Conan O'Brien, did last year.

According to the report, since the end of the broadcast season, Leno is averaging 3.8 million viewers and a 1.0 adults 18-49 rating. That's a 12 percent improvement in total audience compared with O'Brien's "Tonight" show, but it's 23 percent off in that targeted demographic and down in both measurements compared with Leno's hosting gig two years ago.

THR notes that despite the ratings downgrade, Leno is still beating his late-night counterpart, CBS' "The Late Show with David Letterman," by 22 percent in both metrics.

Leno regained the "Tonight" spot after his primetime program "The Jay Leno Show" fared poorly in the ratings. O'Brien left "Tonight" in January rather than begin the show a half hour later than the standard 11:35 p.m. time slot to accommodate Leno's return to late night.

In May, O'Brien spoke to "60 Minutes" correspondent Steve Kroft, breaking his silence about his "Tonight Show" exit and Leno. Watch the video:


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