Leno and Letterman Have Fallen On Tough Times


Though the dust has settled in the Conan-Leno Late Night Wars, the sphere of late night has by no means become strife-free. Leno and Letterman have both suffered decreasing ratings, the Times' Bill Carter notes, Letterman’s at the lowest they've been since 1995. DVR is generally considered the main culprit for the dips, as adults are watching programs recorded earlier instead of tuning in for Leno's monologue "jokes" or Letterman's awkward interview banter. Though one exec says the “situation is bad, and it is going to get worse over the long haul,” Carter cautions declaring the Death of Late Night just yet, as ads are reportedly still selling briskly for Leno and Letterman's shows next fall. Meanwhile, one competitor who isn’t suffering as of late? Jimmy Kimmel. His Live - perhaps buoyed by an obsessive coverage of the Lost beat - is the only show "in the 11:30pm hour" to add viewers in the past year.

Networks See Dip in Key Audiences for Late Shows [NYT]