Are the Celebrities on Team Letterman?

Last night, with the help of guest Howard Stern (typically a big draw, for some reason), David Letterman came the closest he’s come so far to beating Conan’s new Tonight Show in the ratings — Late Show scored a 3.0, while Tonight notched a 3.1. And Conan’s viewership has (predictably, understandably) dropped every night since his debut last Monday, while the gap between the shows has narrowed. “I’ll do anything you want, as long as we beat Conan,” said Stern last night. Notice the “we”? Are America’s famous secretly pulling for Dave? A look at the upcoming lineups for both shows seems to indicate as much!

Here’s Letterman’s schedule for the next two weeks (via Late Night Lineups):

Mo 6/8: Howard Stern, Mos Def

Tu 6/9: Julia Roberts, Black Eyed Peas

We 6/10: Sonic Youth

Th 6/11: Denzel Washington, the Jonas Brothers, a Top Ten List with Regis Philbin

Fr 6/12: Sandra Bullock, Pete Correale, P.J. Harvey & John Parish

Mo 6/15: Jack Black, M.A. Sanjayan

Tu 6/16: Michelle Pfeiffer, Ian McLagan & the Bump Band

We 6/17: Ryan Reynolds

Th 6/18: Phoenix

Fr 6/19: Jada Pinkett Smith, Michael Cera, the Sounds

And here’s Conan’s:

Mo 6/8: David Duchovny, Anna Friel, Bill Burr

Tu 6/9: Eddie Murphy, Angela Kinsey, Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal

We 6/10: Dane Cook, Steven Ho, Rancid

Th 6/11: Norm MacDonald, Jim Gaffigan, Neko Case

Fr 6/12: Jamie Foxx, Kevin Nealon

Mo 6/15: Joe Torre, Spinal Tap

Tu 6/16: Larry David, Lauren Conrad, Gavin Rossdale

We 6/17: William Shatner, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Incubus

Th 6/18: The Dead Weather

Fr 6/19: Holly Williams

It could certainly be that Conan hasn’t yet revealed his full lineups, or that Letterman’s bookers are calling in favors to bag big names right now (this seems pretty likely). But David Duchovny, Dane Cook, and Norm MacDonald as lead guests — already? Don’t all the celebrities live in Los Angeles? (Admittedly, though, we are excited beyond words to see Shatner and McLovin together on the same Tonight Show next Wednesday.) As long as Letterman can survive this Thursday’s appearance by the viewership-repelling Jonas Brothers, it seems like he should be beating Conan handily by next week.

Oh, and if Dave fans needed any more good news today, he’s close to a deal to re-up his Late Show contract through 2012.

Late Night Ratings Watch: Conan Beats Dave– But Just Barely [TV Week]
David Letterman near new CBS deal [HR]

Are the Celebrities on Team Letterman?