T Dog’s Four Pack – The Jay Leno edition (updated)

(This was supposed to been up Tuesday night, but somehow it didn’t get up here. – T.H.)

UPDATED: See below.

It’s a special Jay Leno Show edition of T Dog’s Four Pack – here are the highlights and lowlights from night one of the show, plus other relevant information ( I was flipping back and forth between Leno and Star Trek: The Next Generation, so I’m reviewing what I was only able to catch:)


– Headlines. Always reliable and funny – it was a great idea to move this to the end.

– Leno’s monologue. It was funny, though a bit short.

– “Cheaters” skit. Great segment – and promotion for a show most most people didn’t know was still on the air.

– The Car Wash Skit. – Wasn’t half bad – actually funny.


– Kanye West. Leno – and the studio audience – went way too easy on him regarding the stunt he pulled on the VMAs Sunday night.

– The opening theme music. Bring back the old theme! Please!

– Jerry Seinfeld. Besides Bee Movie, has Seinfeld done anything since his show ended?

– Stealing bits. Aaron Barnhart of TV Barn and the Kansas City Star pointed out on Twitter Leno’s first line – “This is not a promo. This is the actual show!” was stolen from David Letterman’s first CBS show – way back in 1993.

In all, kind of a disjointed first show – it’s has to flow better than this in the future. Leno is funnier than Letterman – but let’s face it, Letterman’s a better interviewer.

Enough of what you think. Gimme the numbers. In his first night, Leno drew a whopping 18.4 million viewers – easily finishing number one in its 9 p.m. time slot. In adults 18-49, it drew a 5.3 rating and 14 share, according to Nielsen. Quite Impressive!

That’s great, but what about Chicago? Okay, Leno did quite well in Chicago. According to information I acquired from Chicagoland Radio and Media, Leno averaged an average quarter hour rating/share of 6.9/13, beating its closest competitor (CSI: Miami) by a whopping 138% in rating and 140% in share.

It seems Leno – who is a strong draw among the 25-54 news demo – drew viewers away from WGN-TV’s and WFLD-TV’s 9 p.m. newscasts, with both recording much lower-than-average scores.

Did this help WMAQ-TV’s 10 p.m. newscast? Yes! WMAQ-TV scored a rare 10 p.m. news victory Monday night, thanks to the Leno lead-in. WMAQ had an average quarter hour rating/share of 6/15, followed by WLS-TV’s 3.7/9, WBBM-TV’s 2.8/7, and WFLD’s 0.5/1. Keep in mind WFLD has canceled its 10 p.m. newscast and is running The Office at 10 p.m. starting Monday.

Meanwhile, WGN’s Family Guy scored a 1.2/3.

By the way, can anyone remember WLS’ 10 p.m. newscast ever scoring so low?

At 10:35 p.m., WMAQ’s The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien tied WBBM’s Late Show with David Letterman in households, with ABC’s Nightline placing third. Meanwhile, WGN’s Two And a Half Men rerun beat the Simpsons on WFLD by a decisive margin (are viewers finally tiring of the three-times-a-day run of America’s favorite animated family? Fox Chicago management should have eliminated at least one of the runs and kept an episode a day of Seinfeld on the station instead.)

More information from Lewis Lazare: The Sun-Times’ Lewis Lazare had a story on Monday’s and Tuesday’s local ratings for Leno and WMAQ. Monday’s ratings are basically the same, but uses a different method of measuring audiences – just not the AQH method (measured in 15 minute blocks) used in the CRM post.

Tuesday night’s ratings showed a drop for Leno – but still won its time period locally. But WMAQ’s newscast did not benefit, falling to second place at 10 p.m. behind WLS-TV.

Nationally, Leno’s numbers did drop during its second night, but still won its time period in households, total viewers, and adults 18-49. Click here to see the numbers and look at The Jay Leno Show near the bottom of the post.

Wednesday night: Night 3 of The Jay Leno Show showed a sharp increase from the night before – thanks to a strong lead-in from the finale of America’s Got Talent, which drew 15.7 million viewers.  Leno earned a HH 8.5/15, with a 3.5/10 among adults 18-49, and 13.3 million viewers. Click here and scroll down to see the numbers.

The bottom line: We won’t get a picture of how Jay Leno is doing until the end of October, at least, when we have several weeks’ worth of numbers to analyze, which will include first-run dramas on CBS and ABC and the baseball playoffs on Fox. But one thing is certain: Leno won’t be drawing 18 million viewers every night.

updated at 8:28 p.m. on 2009-09-17