Jimmy Kimmel says it was "fun" to score his first ratings victories over Jay Leno in his new 11:35 timeslot.
For the first time since moving to his new timeslot Tuesday, Kimmel won the 18-49 demo Thursday, scoring a .98 rating compared to a .74 for "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" and a .73 for "The Late Show With David Letterman." In the 25-54 demo often used to measure late-night and news shows, Kimmel scored another win, earning a 1.3 compared to a 1.07 for both Leno and Letterman.
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Leno and Letterman narrowly beat Kimmel in total viewers, however, with Leno taking 3.4 million and Letterman 3.3 million to Kimmel's 3.2 million.
Kimmel was upbeat Friday morning about besting Leno, who he has repeatedly knocked even as he praised Letterman, his late-night idol.
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"It was fun," he told TheWrap. "These are the things [where] it's great, you wake up in the morning and you look at the number and that's great, but there's nothing you can do about it. All you can do it try to have a great show and get people interested in the show as best you can. I always look at that stuff as, it's great if it's good. I try not to worry about it too much if it's bad. But it's really out of my control."
Kimmel's 18-49 rating Thursday was his highest yet at 11:35. He also had the most total viewers in the timeslot.
It almost looked liked Kimmel beat Leno on his first night at 11:35. Initial numbers showed him ahead Tuesday, but Leno pulled ahead as more ratings came in.
How did it feel to almost win Tuesday?
"It almost felt good," Kimmel said.
Asked if he was disappointed that Leno hasn't welcomed him to the 11:35 timeslot, Kimmel laughed.
"No," he said. "Not at all."
On Tuesday, Kimmel had 3.097 million viewers compared to 3.274 million for Leno and 2.882 million for Letterman. Leno had a .9 rating in 18-49, Kimmel had a .7, and Letterman a .5. In 25-54, Leno had a 1.2, Kimmel a 1.0, and Letterman a .9.
On Wednesday, Leno had 3.55 million total viewers, followed by 3.039 million for Letterman and 2.859 million for Kimmel. In 18-49, both Leno and Kimmel had a .9 rating, followed by a .8 for Letterman. In 25-54, Leno scored a 1.2, Kimmel a 1.1, and Letterman a 1.0.