‘Tonight Show’ Ratings Soar as Viewers Vote Team Conan

O’Brien’s declaration of independence boosts his numbers by more than 40%, crushing Dave, while Jay remains limp at 10

Conan O’Brien’s shot heard ’round the world sent his "Tonight Show" numbers soaring as viewers seemed to vote for Team Conan with their remotes.

Tuesday’s episode scored a 1.7/7 in adults 18-49 in Nielsen’s 25 major markets with people meters. That’s a dramatic gain of more than 40 percent from Monday, when Conan averaged a 1.2.

Conan’s "Tonight," in what may well be one of its final broadcasts, crushed "Late Show With David Letterman" in the demo — nearly doubling Dave’s 0.9/4.

Final numbers won’t be in til next week, and the averages likely will change. But this date suggest a massive boost for O’Brien.

By contrast, Tuesday’s "The Jay Leno Show" was down about 10 percent from last Tuesday. A lower lead-in from "Biggest Loser," which was dented by the returning "American Idol," played a role. But it’s worth noting CBS’ "The Good Wife" seemed to benefit from the gazillion "Idol" viewers looking for something to watch after the Fox show wrapped.

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