Ratings: Kimmel Beats Leno, Letterman for First Time in New Timeslot

Despite key-demo victory, "Jimmy Kimmel Live" still comes in third in total viewers

For the first time since debuting in its new 11:35 p.m. timeslot this week, ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" beat out its late-night competition, NBC's "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" and CBS's "Late Show With David Letterman," in the advertiser-preferred 18-49 demographic and the 25-54 demograpic used to measure news and talk shows on Thursday night, according to preliminary numbers.

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"Jimmy Kimmel Live" still took third place in total viewers, however.

Also read: Jimmy Kimmel Slams Leno in 'Rolling Stone': 'He Totally Sold Out'

On Thursday night — the third night in its new timeslot — "Live" drew a .98 in the 18-49 demographic. compared to a .74 for Jay Leno's "The Tonight Show" and a .73 for "Late Show."

In the 25-54 demo, Kimmel drew a 1.3 rating, beating out Leno and Letterman, who both posted a 1.07.

In total viewers, "Jimmy Kimmel Live" drew 3.2 million, versus 3.4 million for "Tonight Show" and 3.3 million for "Late Show."

Kimmel has been gaining ground since he debuted in his new timeslot, which puts him in direct competition with Leno — who Kimmel has mercilessly savaged in the media — and Letterman. On Tuesday night, "Jimmy Kimmel Live" posted a .7 rating in the 18-49 demo, compared to a .9 for Leno and a .5 for Letterman. (Kimmel came in second in total viewers that night, with 3 million, versus 3.3 million for Leno and 2.9 million for "Letterman.)

On his second night in the new timeslot, Kimmel tied with Leno in the demo, with each drawing a .9, and Letterman posting a .8 among the 18-49 crowd.

More to come…