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Conan Wins Late Night War … Kind Of

Jay Leno’s Tonight Show may be taking the top spot in late night television, but there’s a silver lining for Conan O’Brien: He’s won over the younger audience that advertisers love.

TBS has released figures saying that Conan has consistently won the late night war for Adults 18-34 over its first six weeks on air, with the median age for the Conan viewer being 33. The show has averaged 1.3 million viewers per week, a relatively small number in comparison to broadcast network audiences, but as long as he’s winning the core demographic, it’s fair to say that advertisers really won’t be too sad.


  • RunnerX13

    IMO, when the other two options at 11:00 are Family Guy and the Daily Show, Conan is a no brainer. Male/27

  • stealthwise

    I assume you mean that as a compliment, given how highly rated and successful those two shows are?

  • Anonymous

    Well let’s just ignore the real figures shall we?? Conan is now down to:

    0.7 in the 18-49 Demo, the real demo advertisers love and 1.3 million viewers.

    Jon Stewart was a 0.8 in the Demo with 1.7 million viewers.

    Chelsey Lately a 0.6/7 in the Demo

    Adult Swim a 0.9 and 1.9 million Viewers

    TBS is in 100 out of 115 million homes so it’s not so far down the cable chain that folks can’t find it. It’s the basic of basic.

    Jimmy Fallon pulls the same number as Conan and he comes on at 12:35 at night compared to 11PM. Jay has a 1.1 in the Demo with over 4 million viewers. Dave around a 0.9 with 3.2 million viewers.

    Those are the stats, I’ll let yall decide.

  • Charlie

    team coco!

  • Anonymous

    “team coco!” is the “frankie says relax” of 2010.

  • Anonymous

    LOL, next they’ll be saying “Conan is dominating in male viewers 18 to 24 with deviated septums! In your face, Leno!”

  • Anonymous


    Then to Well Conan is on TBS what do you expect!

    Then when the 18-49 Demo started to go sour, now they change the Demo to 18-34

    So true then it will be Mens 18-24! Already Stewart and Conan are tied in the Mens 18-49. Chelsey Handler does well in the Females.

    So curious at how well he repeats though, should be interesting

  • Sijo

    He got 40 million dollars. I’d say that’s a WIN, no matter everything else. Not having the Tonight Show? He’ll get over it on the way to The Bank. Well played Conan.

  • Anonymous

    No Sijo, a win is winning the ratings, not how much money is lined up his pants.

  • Anonymous

    Daily show and family guy arent that highly rated…

  • Anonymous

    who gives a shit anyway. Ratings are bordeline completely meaningless. I dont give a fuck what anyone rates im not an advertiser

  • Sijo

    Gee, and I thought the ratings game was all about earning money. My mistake. ;)

  • Ffdsfsd9292dh

    daily show it.

  • Anonymous

    It makes money if your ratings are up to par yes. Has nothing to do with their individual paychecks. From the looks of things Conan and Lopez are close to having similar 11PM ratings. That is like going from McDonalds to Burger King. Same prices but different food :O)

  • Anonymous

    Um, yeah, ratings are meaningless? Then why do things get canceled then? You know its one thing to like somebody but being delusional about the ratings of a show is something else.

    His show is settling below Jon Stewart AND Adult Swim now. And it looks like it still stay there.

  • Guest

    Jay Leno fans are basically teabaggers, so I assume that his ratings are merely reflective of the 2010 elections… or the cultural downfall of America.

  • kalorama


  • Joemac307

    What exactly does that mean, that Jay Leno fans are basically teabaggers… that they like to put their genitals on people’s foreheads? I’m confused.

  • Bradleymedia

    The fact is that Conan has landed as-well-as anyone in his position could have. Letterman beat Leno like a drum for years before things turned around for Jay. Conan would have grown into The Tonight Show role had he been given a similar time frame. He wasn’t. NBC paid big for it. He positioned himself well with the choice of TBS as his ‘comeback’ vehicle. He is out of the direct line of Late Night fire while still in the game and making TBS very, very happy with his numbers and advertising revenues. He has become the network’s signature star and will have his job there as long as he wants it. Traditional points-of-view about Late Night TV shows and what makes them successful are being forced to change as the playing field morphs. There are other games in town and the network late night programs are graying in their demographics. When Leno and Letterman retire, you won’t see the same sorts of Late Shows and Tonight Shows produced. They are becoming less lucrative with the dollars generated in a diluted field. The days of a Carsonesque King of Late Night are over and gone just like Johnny and his Tonight Show. It’s a bygone title of a genre that is gasping. Ratings aren’t even going to figure into equations the way they once did with the development of on-line and DVR platforms for these shows. Conan has done well for himself and has much to be proud of. I say: Well done.

  • Anonymous

    “Tea baggers” have existed since 1995??? What a stupid comment seriously. Jay has more broader appeal than Conan. That is the simplest of facts.