Conan O’Brien kept up his late-night winning streak last week, decisively beating David Letterman in demos despite being in repeats.
In what’s becoming a familiar storyline, Letterman– who offered all-new shows last week opposite O’Brien’s reruns– came out ahead in viewers.
According to Nielsen data for the week of Aug. 17-21, NBC’s "The Tonight Show" repeats averaged a 1.0/4 in the advertiser-friendly demo of adults 18-49. CBS’s "Late Show" notched a 0.8/4 with first-run episodes.
O’Brien’s margin of victory in the demo: 20 percent.
The win for O’Brien, despite offering repeats, points to the uphill struggle facing Letterman as he tries to claim total dominance in the latenight race.
In terms of overall audience, however, things are looking far rosier for Dave. New episodes of "Late Show" drew 3.4 million viewers compared to 2.5 million viewers for "Tonight Show" encores.
ABC’s "Nightline" tied "Late Show" in both viewers and adults 18-49.
Meanwhile, since O’Brien took over "Tonight" in June, the show is averaging a 1.3/6 in adults 18-49 to Letterman’s 1.0/4. "Nightline" leads in total viewers with 3.8 million, followed by "Late Show" (3.7 million) and "Tonight" (3.4 million).