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The 7 - Guest Columns - Let the ratings... Register and log in to post!
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#1 Posted on 13.9.02 2153.12
Reposted on: 13.9.09 2153.41
Brian --

A few things:

A) Not to back Jay Leno (since I'm more a Conan fan anyway), but at what period was David Letterman killing Leno in the ratings?

B) Just remember Leno's lead-in is not Must See TV, it's your late local news. True, everything gets a boost with NBC's 10p shows, but it's also up to the affiliate's news to keep the demos.

C) Good point on VIP and bringing the young male demo... couldn't have been said any better. FWIW, TNN needs to start importing Kinniku Banzuke/Muscle Ranking at 7P Monday nights, and I'll give Jerry Lawler a free pass to scream about HLA.
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#2 Posted on 13.9.02 2200.19
Reposted on: 13.9.09 2201.08
For the first six months or so of the Letterman vs, Leno wars, Dave was consistently winning the battle despite being on fewer and worse stations which gave Jay a huge advantage. Jay started to pull ahead with the OJ Simpson case and the Dancing Ito's. The problem for Dave was always that to beat Jay, he had to get much higher ratings per station because he was on fewer stations and in some key markets, he was on really lousy affiliates or not on at all.

When Dave came back from his heart surgery, he was number one again for a brief period.
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#3 Posted on 13.9.02 2311.59
Reposted on: 13.9.09 2329.01
Just to add on to the "When was Dave beating Jay" point, if you saw The Late Shift, they note at the end that Dave was winning that period at the beginning, and that it was Hugh Grant's appearance on The Tonight Show after getting blown by a nickle hooker in CA that swung the ratings in Jay's favor.
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#4 Posted on 13.9.02 2315.13
Reposted on: 13.9.09 2329.03
Thanks for the info, and I stand corrected.
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#5 Posted on 16.9.02 0831.13
Reposted on: 16.9.09 0831.22
Thanks for the replies.

I remember at the time that Dave first started with CBS there was talk of all the money he was getting and he was promoted highly by the station. The media tried very hard to start a feud between the two. For the first year or so, Letterman was consistently winning, except for Thursday nights. I think NBC's lead-in was so strong that the audience stayed through the half hour news. Once Leno was winning around OJ trial, NBC made a billboard for him to brag about it.
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