Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, February 14, 2021

permanent two
Because I can’t get enough of showing off how right I was, I’ll point to the wrap-up assessment of how little impact the writers’ strike had on the late-night talkshow competition between Letterman and Leno:

Leno’s “Tonight” show has averaged 5.17 million viewers since his return, up from the pre-strike average of 5 million. Letterman’s “Late Show” on CBS increased from 3.8 million pre-strike to 4.05 million after he went back on the air after the new year. In general, viewership tends to go up for these shows during winter.

Basically, the only thing that matters for the audience is whether or not it’s a rerun. After that, they go with preferred personality. As far as Letterman-Leno, the only drama left comes next year, when Leno (supposedly) retires, and Letterman gets a chance to take the 11:30 number one spot versus Conan O’Brien.

I will say one last thing: With viewing habits being so ingrained, I’m guessing the talkshows are going to have a hard time extracting more money from the networks for writing talent. Numbers like these clearly illustrate that they don’t contribute to the bottom line.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 02/14/2008 05:47:05 PM
Category: TV, Business
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