Jimmy Fallon was questioned when he took over for Jay Leno as host of The Tonight Show, but his first week in the gig has shut a lot of people up from those criticizing his humor to those saying he won’t get the type of ratings his predecessor got.
According to Nielsen (via The Wrap), Fallon not only scored better ratings than his predecessor, he scored the most watched week on NBC since 1993.
For the full week, “Tonight” averaged 8.5 million viewers overall, making it the franchise’s most-watched week since that of the “Cheers” finale, May 17-21, 1993, when the show averaged 9.1 million viewers.
These numbers are spectacular, but it will likely only bring out more detractors. The fact that Sochi Olympics were Fallon’s lead-in for the first week of his show was a huge boost and many don’t think that he can sustain the show’s ratings without the Olympics.
Still, the numbers don’t lie and Fallon has NBC”s most watched week in over 20 years. He also has the most constantly high ratings in the key demographic of 18-49 since the final week of Friends back in 2003. Fallon’s rating will inevitably fall, but it doesn’t appear that he’s going to bottom out the way many expected him to.