Fallon’s Monday debut, which began at a special midnight time following NBC’s Olympics coverage, averaged a 7.1 rating, 20 share in household results from the 56 local markets metered by Nielsen Media Research. The numbers tie the premiere for the second-highest “Tonight Show” overnights since Friday, May 29, 2009 (8.8/20, for Leno’s last telecast before Conan O'Brien took over as host).
Fallon’s curtain-raiser was behind only the Thursday, Feb. 6 finale of “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” (9.2/22).
Last night also tied the June 1, 2009 “Tonight” debut for O’Brien (7.1/17).
“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” was the top non-Olympic telecast versus all primetime and late-night programming last night on ABC, CBS and Fox in metered-market households. ABC’s “The Bachelor” hit No. 2 with a 5.5/8.
(For the record: The early headline for this story said Fallon’s metered market results tied the best “Tonight” ratings in five years; in fact, he tied the second-best “Tonight” ratings in nearly five years per the early rating, as the story stated.)