• Leno Tanks In Week 2 – Late News Mixed Bag

    September 28th, 2009

    Jay Leno’s ratings, as expected, tanked as season premieres hit the other networks in the second week of his new program.  But while Leno’s numbers fell of a cliff, the late news numbers of the NBC affiliates I am tracking were both up and down.

    For the second week of the Jay Leno Show the program was either third or fourth in the ratings for every day last week.  But just as in week one of the program – it seems that most viewers tend to be late news viewers.  Retention numbers into the late newscasts for those NBC affiliates were pretty strong once again.

    For instance, in the Greenville-Spartanburg market the Jay Leno Show ratings fell a whopping 108% from week one to week two – but the NBC affiliate’s late newscast in that market was actually up 10% from the debut week.   In Ft. Myers Leno dropped 72% from his first week on the air, but the NBC station in that Florida market saw its late news ratings grow by 18%.

    It was a different story in the LPM (Local People Meter) markets that we are tracking.    In Seattle, the Leno program dropped by 121% on KING-TV from the first week with 25-54 year-olds, and KING’s late newscast was down 13% in that key demo from Leno’s debut week.  In Tampa, Leno’s show fell by 72% in the 25-54 demo from week one to week two, and WFLA’s late newscast dropped by 18% in the key demo from the week before.

    So that is my snapshot of a few metered markets across the country.  We’ll let the program settle in for awhile, and then give you another update on these markets in a month.


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  • Leno’s First Week Rollercoaster Ride

    September 21st, 2009

    Jay Leno’s new primetime program had a strong first night – as expected – but the rest of his first week was a rollercoaster ride.   I am tracking his overnight numbers in some select markets – four of them with only Household meters, and two markets that show the 25-54 demo each night.  I think it will give us a good snapshot of Leno’s performance over the next few weeks.

    The household only overnight markets are in Columbus, Ohio; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Ft. Myers, Florida; and Greemville-Spartanburg.    The two markets with the 25-54 overnights are Seattle and Tampa.

    Overall, Leno’s number spiked up on Monday and Wednesday – and spiked down the rest of the week.  His average HH number (in my 4-market sample) for the week was 7.58.  That included a 10.2 average HH number on Monday that dropped to a 4.85 HH on Friday.  The encouraging news for NBC affiliates in my little sample is that they retained an average of 85% of that audience into their late newscasts.

    In the two markets (Seattle and Tampa) that have the LPM’s – the Leno show averaged a 4.83 for the week in the 25-54 demo.  If memory serves that is a better number than usual NBC primetime fare in the past few months.  The 25-54 retention rate into the late newscast in those two markets was quite a bit lower than the HH markets at 58%.  But at 2.82 it was a little higher than normal for those two NBC affiliates at 11 p.m.

    It is early – but it appears that the audience fluctuation may be higher than most pundits predicted.  The numbers jumped around all week.  In the HH markets the Leno numbers looked like this – 10.2 on Monday, 7.5 on Tuesday, back up to a 9.52 on Wednesday when Robin Williams was on the program, before dropping like a rock to a 5.85 on Thursday, and falling further to a 4.85 on Friday.  It is only the first week – but it looks like the popularity of the guest may affect the HH numbers each night.

    Now, there is one important thing to keep in mind.  Last week – all of the networks were still in re-runs.  This week is premiere week and the big guns will be firing at Leno every night with lots of hype and special episodes.  We’ll let you know how it goes in our tracking sample next week.


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