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King of all late night: in key audience demographics, it's Jon Stewart across the board

Who's the undisputed king of late night TV among audiences that "matter?"

In May it was Jon Stewart, whose The Daily Show beat all broadcast and cable rivals in three key demographic food groups, including 18-to-49-year-olds.

Comedy Central distributed Nielsen numbers for the month of May in handy chart form. They show Stewart to be a Colossus in the realm of cable's late nighters and a bit ahead of both Jay Leno and David Letterman among 18-to-49-year-olds, still the most sought after target audience for advertisers.

But where's Conan O'Brien and his TBS Conan show?

Let's take a few looks.

In the 18-to-49 demographic, Daily Show averaged 1.344 million viewers in May, barely ahead of NBC's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (1.340 million) and with a bit more breathing room between CBS' No. 3 Late Show with David Letterman (an average of 1.124 million).

Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, which follows Stewart, ranked fourth with 978,000 viewers in this measurement while Conan placed eighth overall with 701,000.

Conan moved up to third place, though, among 18-to-34-year-olds and with male viewers in that age group.

Overall with 18-to-34-year-olds, Stewart averaged 754,000 viewers, followed by Colbert (585,000) and Conan (467,000).

In the race for 18-to-34-year-old males, Stewart had 499,000 in establishing a healthy lead over second place Colbert (398,000) and Conan (278,000).

Comedy Central piled on by noting that Stewart's Daily Show also has the richest viewers of any late night show. Their median household income is $78,000, with Colbert again second ($73,000) and Conan sliding to a fifth place tie ($53,000) with Letterman, Leno, NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live.

All of this adds up to higher prices for commercials on The Daily Show, which otherwise trailed both Leno and Letterman in total viewers while still ranking No. 1 in the cable universe with an average of 2.337 million in May. Conan ranked third among cable entries, with its 975,000 viewers edging the E! network's Chelsea Lately (942,000).