Jimmy Fallon vs. Jimmy Kimmel: The New Late Night Fight, by the Numbers

Jimmy Fallon vs. Jimmy Kimmel: The New Late Night Fight, by the Numbers

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TheWrap breaks down the two funnymen's social media, personality, YouTube and ratings metrics

Exactly one month into Jimmy Fallon‘s “Tonight Show” tenure, he's locked in a race with Jimmy Kimmel to be the new king of late night.

So far, he's ahead.

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” has handily beaten “Jimmy Kimmel Live” in ratings and viewers, in part because of curiosity about Jay Leno‘s replacement. His ratings were also bolstered by the Sochi Winter Olympics, Fallon's lead-in for his first week.

But the gap between the Jimmys is narrowing.

Also read: The Most and Least Liked Late Night Talk Show Hosts: From Stephen Colbert to Arsenio Hall

In its debut week, “Tonight” topped “Kimmel” by 6.2 million viewers on average. Last week, the new host's third, the gap shrunk by 71 percent to 1.8 million viewers.

Last week was the second week straight in which Kimmel increased in total viewers (by 4 percent), hitting a 14-week high.

But Fallon also tops Kimmel by most social metrics: Fallon and his “Tonight Show” have more Twitter followers and Facebook Likes than his Kimmel and his show.

Kimmel, however, has the advantage on YouTube, where years of viral content have helped him build more subscribers and views. Fallon's “Late Night” view-count is included in his new “Tonight Show” channel. Fallon's channel dates back to 2012, Kimmel's to 2009.

Also read: How Fallon's ‘Tonight Show’ Debut Week Ratings Stack Up to Kimmel, O'Brien and Leno

Fallon's page and app are the most popular for NBC.com, but ABC did not provide comparable info.

Fallon also has a higher Positive Q Score — a metric that measures the public's opinion of a personality — than Kimmel.

TheWrap also broke down Nielsen SocialGuide's data for the most-recent episodes as of Wednesday night. A Twitter audience of 348,400 saw tweets about “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on Wednesday, and it had a total of 391,700 Twitter TV Impressions across the night. There were 2,000 Tweets sent by 1,600 unique authors.

Fallon's numbers: 371,600 people saw tweets about “The Tonight Show” on Wednesday, with a total of 580,200 Twitter TV Impressions across the night. That Twitter audience saw a total of 9,600 Tweets sent by 6,900 Unique Authors.

Since his “Tonight Show” debut, his show is No. 1 across late night, beating “The Colbert Report,” “Daily Show,” “Conan,” “Letterman” and “Kimmel,” according to SocialGuide.

Here's more data, from Fallon's debut through last week:


*ABC told TheWrap that the “Jimmy Kimmel Live” YouTube page views are actually closer to 1.6 billion, based on “the aggregate number of views since the lifetime of the channel, published or unpublished.”



  • meaningless

    All the “social media” garbage is meaningless and can be manipulated anyway. The media needs to stop trying to make it meaningful on behalf of these social media corporations. All that matters is ratings and it's not an accurate snapshot yet so close to the post-Olympics debut.

    When you filter out all the brain numbing nattering on social media, what shakes out here is Fallon's ratings are falling and his debut lead is shrinking as predicted. Because Letterman is only halfhearted about it, the “race” will level out to a 3-way of mediocrity.

    • lakawak

      It can be manipulated, but if you think it is meaningless, that you are a complete idiot. Online advertising will very likely overtake TV advertising before long. Especially for late night TV.

  • Honey Badger Don't Care

    Yeah last I checked, Letterman has a very small following on social media, but he makes more than both of them combined. So yeah, none of this matters.

    • lakawak

      What does the salary of the host have to do with anything?

      • Honey Badger Don't Care

        Meaning social media is irrelevant.

  • WorpedWrap

    Sure Fallon is leading but Kimmel is on myspace and it's 2014.

  • Joy Devore

    Yay! Go Fallon Go!!! I've always liked Fallon, cause he tends to have cleaner material. Besides, he's a very talented musician.

  • cornerofthemoon

    I would probably be a huge fan of the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, if I were 12 years old.

  • hupto

    If social media carried any genuine weight, then we'd be looking forward to SNAKES ON A PLANE 4 this summer.

    • lakawak

      Isn't it cute that you think that social media in 2014 is the same as social media in 2006.

      Ignorance is so adorable!

      • hupto

        The mentality is the same even if the devices are different.

        But great job on the name-calling. It makes you sound very serious and grown-up.

  • cornerofthemoon

    The Tonight Show is by far the best show on Nickelodeon these days.

  • Herbert Love

    Unlike Fallon, “Jimmy Kimmel” has a level & stable personality! I think he has build a strong late night show with multiple topics, interesting news and some funny stuff!

    What no one is actually saying is that Jimmy Fallon has been given a top position in the late night talk shows taking filling Jay Leno's spot, and simply carrying all of the residual customers so far. I was a constant Leno fan… and still find it difficult to do a TV-channel change? When I watch Fallon interview people he is most terrible. He laughs entirely too much, “over nothing” etc… continually repeating it like a parrot. I am so sadly dissapointed the network dumped Jay Leno for him? Not a good fit!

    Fallon does not have the personal reserve, or ability to engage guest people I enjoy in a talk show host. Every interview he does is 50%-75% (giggling & laughing) or trying to make a joke out of something a guest says. He just does not have the proper “composure” for an interview host, late night talk show. It is also a problem for me when he “talks to fast” and mumbles, etc…

    Fallon's poor interview skills might be linked to his (acting & music) background being a free spirit. He is too quick to “talk & interrupt” a guest every time. I want to hear what the guest is saying about things… ya know?

    My prediction is that Jimmy Fallon won't last.


    • michael

      Herb, Have you seen Jimmy Fallons show? Jimmy's spot on voices, obvious musical ability, and his overall sense of humor are far superior to the leno snoozefest. Jimmy will need to become a better interviewer though for it all to work long term. Leno jumped the shark a decade ago and should have left then. He was a step backwards and hopefully Fallon can give the Tonight Show its due.

  • cornerofthemoon

    Jimmy Fallon's interviewing skills are on par with Chevy Chase

  • KBD

    There's a big difference between the Jimmy's. Fallon is funny.

  • Bob White

    Fallon's monologues and interviews suck big time. Some of his skits are funny but I am getting sick of seeing him in endless skits and singing duos and Roots rhythm routines. Too much of the show is about him and it would seem that people would get burned out on him from overexposure. Some of his “competitive” games where he beats some actress in beer pong and then over celebrates are lame and make him look insecure.

  • X-Christian

    Fallon cannot interview anyone. He seems to have no interests in his guests or in the concept of conversation. He's a talented mimic, though.
    Too bad he can't mimic Johnny Carson.

  • Shane

    Those of you that say social media doesn't matter or count are probably going to check your facebook wall, youtube subcriptions, and twitter tweets after this. Before one can assume social media is irrelevant, please look at yourself and see how irrelevant social media is to you…exactly…pretty relevant eh?

  • TC

    I dont get it…..bring back Jay

  • Joseph Kool

    Fallon is a little faggot

  • Guest

    After all the yrs. of watching Dave, I gave up a few months ago – he obviously wants to be retired. I like Fallon but it's the same show only it's on earlier. I like being entertained but maybe he should go back to Late, late night and put Seth Myers in place. Seth can have fun but he also has some interviewing skills (they need to be honed a bit), something Jimmy can't do. One thing about Letterman – he plays the goof but he has guests with some relevancy and if he doesn't know something, he's not afraid to ask & learn. I've been a fan of SNL since it started, glad that so many have ‘made’ it but if I want to watch SNL, I'll watch SNL (which stinks this year).

  • Joseph Kool

    Fallon is a talentless little brown nosing weasle. I can't stand that little prick I hope somebody kills the little liberal faggot

    • dillman

      awesome comment!

  • michael

    Both are excellent. Fallon has more talent in his small toe than Leno had in his whole body!!

  • frank

    Fallon Sucks Cock.. Conan would have been so much better.