Ratings: Fallon Ticks Up From Tuesday, Reels in 7.3 Million Viewers (Updated)

With an assist from the Olympics, “The Tonight Show” has its biggest Wednesday audience in 10 years

Jimmy Fallon‘s “Tonight Show” pulled in 7.3 million viewers on Wednesday — nearly the same as prior night — and actually ticked up a tenth of a rating point versus Tuesday.

Wednesday’s “Tonight” averaged a 2.4 rating in the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic, according to fast-official live plus same day ratings from Nielsen Media Research.

The rating is up 4 percent versus the prior night’s 2.3. The number marks the best Wednesday demo rating for the franchise in nine years (since Dec. 8, 2004, 2.5) and largest total-viewer audience for aWednesday “Tonight” in 10 years (since Feb. 2, 2004, 7.7 million).

See video: Brian Williams Raps the News on Fallon’s ‘Tonight Show’ – And The Guest Rapper Will Blow Your Mind

Conan O'Brien‘s third “Tonight Show” (June 3, 2009) did a 2.0 in 18-49 rating and had 5.3 million viewers overall, though that version lacked the strong Olympics lead-in that Fallon’s midnight start is benefitting from.

Wednesday’s show outperformed the combined results in total viewers of  CBS’ “Late Show With David Letterman” (2.8 million) and ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (1.9 million) by 56 percent. In adults 18-49, the “Tonight” rating more than doubled the combined results of “Late Show” (0.6) and “Kimmel” (0.5).

According to the earlier reported metered market numbers, Fallon had topped Letterman and Kimmel by 37 percent.

Also read: Fallon’s Second ‘Tonight Show’ Pulls 7.4 Million for Biggest Tuesday in 13 Years (Updated)

Below are the household results from the 56 local markets metered by Nielsen Media Research, which are available several hours earlier than the more accurate live plus same day metric.

Wednesday’s “Tonight” averaged a 5.2 rating/15 share in the very preliminary rating. Those very early result numbers made it the franchise’s biggest Wednesday in six years (since Jan. 2, 2008, 5.3). Conan’s third “Tonight Show”, also on a Wednesday, earned a 4.3 in the same metric. On Night 1, the two versions tied in the metered market numbers (7.1); on Tuesday, Fallon edged O’Brien out 5.3 to 5.0.

Wednesday’s “Tonight Show” featured Bradley Cooper and musical guest Tim McGraw. Thursday’s telecast is scheduled to include First Lady Michelle Obama, Will Ferrell and musical guest Arcade Fire.