Did Twitter Army Help Conan Beat Leno, Letterman and Stewart?

Returning to late night, former “Tonight Show” host earns 4.2M viewers — just over double his number of Twitter followers

Last Updated: November 10, 2010 @ 9:23 AM

The kids are with Coco. But is Twitter the reason?

Besides scoring 4.2 million viewers — more than three-fourths of them in the 18-49 demo — Conan O'Brien drew viewers with a median age of 30 in his TBS debut.

Is it going too far to say O'Brien's Twitter army (he's accumulated nearly two million followers since leaving the "Tonight Show") helped him rule the late-night ratings from his basic cable roost?

TBS doesn't think so. 

“Conan’s audience has been very vocal online, and he clearly made a smooth transition from Twitter to TBS,” Turner Entertainment President Steve Koonin said in a statement.

ALSO READ THEWRAP'S REVIEW: Conan Returns to Late Night With a Message for NBC: 'Go to Hell'

O'Brien also gave credit to his followers, tweeting, "It feels great to be back. To all my fans: Thank you. You are the reason this happened. Also, now I have to change my Twitter bio. Damn you."

That bio (which as of this writing remains unchanged): "I had a show. Then I had a different show. Now I have a Twitter account."

"Conan" scored a 2.8 rating among Nielsen’s 56 metered markets. Jay Leno earned a 2.7 rating, David Letterman drew 2.5, and Jimmy Kimmel received a 1.7.

Against his Comedy Central competition, the ginger-haired comic also fared well. "The Daily Show" earned a 1.5 rating, while "The Colbert Report" nabbed a 1.1 rating.

The real challenge will be maintaining the lead over the next few weeks and months. An executive from a rival show said that he expects O'Brien's numbers will dip once the curiosity factor wanes.

However, those numbers are subject to change once national figures come in later today.

Moreover, with the exception of Stewart, they do not represent head-to-head matchups, as Leno and Letterman both kick off their show at 11:30 p.m., while O'Brien begins his 30 minutes earlier.

More to come. Refresh this page for updates.