Less than a year after many people in the industry were predicting that ABC's Nightline would be replaced by a new late-night variety show hosted by Jay Leno, the newscast has topped CBS's Late Show With David Letterman in the ratings and now stands a good chance of topping both Letterman and Conan O'Brien, who will succeed Leno on the Tonight show this fall. In the first quarter of this year, Nightline averaged 3.86 million viewers versus the Late Show 's 3.79 million. Tonight led both with 5.32 million. In an interview with the TVNewser website, Nightline Executive Producer James Goldston remarked, "I hope what we're seeing is a new kind of heyday for Nightline." As for Leno's departure, he commented, "It can only be an opportunity for us."

03/04/2009