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Sarah Palin and Jay Leno Win “Late Night GOP War”

Posted by Dr. Fay on March 4, 2010

It looks like Sarah Palin and Jay Leno won the “GOP War” on late night TV Tuesday night.  According to the viewer numbers, they drew significantly more viewers than Mitt Romney and David Letterman.

Danny Shea at the Huffington Post reported:

If Tuesday night’s late night ratings are any indication, Sarah Palin remains a bigger draw than Mitt Romney.

In what was seen as a “Late Night GOP War,” David Letterman’s “Late Show” booked Romney to go against Palin on Jay Leno’s “Tonight Show.”

In Leno’s second night back at NBC’s late-night franchise, he and Palin easily outdrew Romney and Letterman.

The “Tonight Show” averaged 5.8 million total viewers (1.6 A18-49 rating) compared to Letterman’s 3.7 million total viewers (1.0 A18-49 rating).

Bill Carter at the New York Times also reported:

Jay Leno had a solid second night back on “The Tonight Show” on Tuesday night, thanks in part to a special opening monologue from his lead guest, Sarah Palin.

Mr. Leno easily won the late-night ratings competition across the board with 5.8 million viewers and a 1.6 rating among the 18-to-49 audience that NBC always points to as the main measure of success (because of advertiser preferences for that group).

The younger-adult rating matched Mr. Leno’s number on Monday night, one indication that Ms. Palin helped maintain the tune-in factor from Mr. Leno’s first night back. He dropped slightly fewer than 1 million viewers from Monday, when he reached 6.6 million people.

In both categories, he dominated his longtime competitor, David Letterman, who reached 3.7 million viewers on Tuesday and had a 1 rating in the 18-49 group. Both numbers were not atypical for Mr. Letterman, which may mean Mr. Leno is bringing in viewers who had not regularly been watching the late-night shows recently.

“Nightline” on ABC, which gets measured only for a half-hour versus a full hour for the other two shows, trailed with 3.3 million viewers and a 0.9 rating in the 18-49 measure.

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