For Team Coco, there has to be a little bit of schadenfreude with today’s news that not only has The Late Show with David Letterman tied The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in the ratings for the first time since Leno took the hosting gig back from Conan O’Brien, but Leno’s trending lower than Conan was at the same point in his run.
Both Letterman and Leno scored a 0.9 among adults 18-49, as compared to Conan’s 1.1 rating in his fifteenth week. Is this a sign that the whole Tonight Show debacle has done irreparable harm to Leno’s image? It’s certainly an indication that it’s really hard to triumph in that time slot without any decent lead-ins, which Leno and NBC seem to forget every time he says something about Conan’s numbers not being good enough. The real test will be this fall, when NBC has an actual primetime line-up again – and when Conan comes back with this TNT show.