Late Night Renaissance - How This Winter's Changes Are Paying Off For Fallon, Kimmel, Leno And The Networks
The changes from last winter are working - networks are seeing the best late night ratings in ages.
Seven months after Fallon’s Tonight takeover, everything looks great in Late Night Land. Not only has the former late night host managed to revive ratings, he’s managed to keep them high – so high, if fact, that this past week of re-runs topped Tonight originals’ numbers from the same period last year, according to The Hollywood Reporter. THR reports that at this point, Fallon holds 34% of the most coveted demographic – viewers aged between 18 and 49.
Fallon has ushered in a revival for Tonight.
But oddly enough, this influx didn’t come at the expense of other late night formats. Instead of reeling in viewers from competing late night formats, Fallon has brought in new viewers. His wide margin of victory hasn't taken away any considerable portion of David Letterman's or Jimmy Kimmel's audiences. Kimmel even wrapped May virtually steady with his showing that month last year. In fact, Kimmel is on track to wrap the 2014 season with the highest numbers his show has seen since 2003, according to THR.
Even Kimmel is moving up (slightly) in ratings.
Letterman is still struggling, but his viewer numbers have lifted slightly since this time last year. At the same time, online content for all three shows is thriving. In the last month alone, Fallon has clocked two of his most-watched YouTube clips of all time — spanning even his Late Night tenure — with 22.4 million views for "Lip Sync Battle With Emma Stone" and 20.4 million for "Will Ferrell and Chad Smith Drum-Off." Kimmel's latest "Mean Tweets" clip from May is also pacing ahead of the rest of the series, now at 15.6 million views.
How will Colbert replacing Letterman affect the delicate balance?
So the networks’ renovations from this past winter are clearly paying off. Can we talk about the diversity issue yet.