Late-Night Shakeup: Stewart Tops Networks; Dave Beating Jay

“The Daily Show” becomes the first late-night talk show to beat both Letterman and Leno in average nightly viewers

Two major shifts in the late-night ratings dynamic came to light Thursday:

"The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" averaged more 18-49 viewers than both Dave Letterman and Jay Leno for the month of October, the first time any talk show has beaten the big boys in that context since at least 2000.

What's more, Letterman eclipsed Leno for the first time since Jay came back on the air — a change that seemed inevitable when "The Late Show" pulled even with "The Tonight Show" a few weeks ago. Letterman came out on top last week in 18-49 with a 1.0/4 vs. Leno's 0.9/4, in adults 25-54 (1.3/5 to 1.2/5) and in total viewers (3.8 million to 3.6 million).  

While that age-old ratings battle rages on, Stewart may have just staged an even bigger rally than the one he hosted last week. During the month of October, "The Daily Show" averaged 1.3 million viewers in the key 18-49 demographic, with 1.2 million each for Leno and Letterman. It's the first time the two leading network late-night shows have both been beaten within this measure.

A look at the October numbers: