Conan romps to opening night win against Leno/Letterman | None | Uncle Barky's Bytes

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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon., Nov. 8) -- TBS' Conan romps to opening night win against Leno/Letterman

Monday night's launch of TBS' heavily-promoted Conan got a nice ratings booster shot, particularly with advertiser-craved 18-to-49-year-olds.

Airing from 10 to 11 p.m., Conan O'Brien's return to late night after a nine-and-a-half month absence drew 152,365 D-FW viewers, with a hefty 111,880 of them in the 18-to-49 age range.

Jay Leno's NBC Tonight Show, with former Conan the Barbarian Arnold Schwarzenegger making a swan song appearance as California's governor, averaged 110,811 total viewers with just 26,325 of them in the 18-to-49 demographic. David Letterman's CBS Late Show had respective audiences of 55,406 and 13,162.

Conan also won easily from 10:30 to 11 p.m., when the three late night talkers competed directly against one another. But O'Brien was beaten in total viewers in that half-hour by ABC's Nightline, which had 173,143 to his 145,440. Nightline was no match for Conan with 18-to-49-year-olds, though, losing by a score of 105,299 to 49,359.

Two of D-FW's local 10 p.m. newscasts also outdrew Conan in total viewers from 10 to 10:30 p.m. WFAA8 was the top performer with 249,325 while runnerup CBS11 had 180,068.

The night's biggest cable draw, in all principal ratings measurements, was ESPN's Monday Night Football square-off between the Steelers and the Bengals. It racked up 325,508 total viewers.

In the broadcast network universe, NBC's one-hour Decision Points: A Conversation with George W. Bush, had a nice-sized 297,805 total viewers. That was strong enough for second place behind the first hour of ABC's Dancing with the Stars (484,799 viewers). But the Bush interview, by Today host Matt Lauer, fell to an overall fourth place from 7 to 8 p.m. among 18-to-49-year-olds.

CBS' Hawaii Five-0 continued to pace the 9 p.m. Nielsens in both measurements, with ABC's Castle a solid second.

In Monday's local news derby results, WFAA8 also won comfortably at 10 p.m. with 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming on most stations. It marked the ABC station's second straight pair of weekday wins after a slow start in the ongoing November "sweeps" ratings period.

NBC5 took the 6 a.m. competition in total viewers while tying for first with WFAA8 among 25-to-54-year-olds.

CBS11 scored twin wins at 6 p.m.; the 5 p.m. golds were won by WFAA8 in total viewers and Fox4 in the 25-to-54 demographic.