Programming

WGA STRIKE UPDATE: Late-Night Ratings Are In

NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Wins Wednesday Night 1/03/2008 04:43:00 AM Eastern

The late-night shows scored their best ratings of the season Wednesday night.

Jay Leno

After two months of reruns, Jay Leno, David Letterman and the rest of the late-night gang returned with new shows. And while CBS' The Late Show with David Letterman and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson were the only shows that actually had Writers Guild of America members writing the jokes, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, the perennial time-slot winner, prevailed Wednesday night, attracting 7.2 million viewers compared with Letterman's 5.5 million, according to Nielsen Media Research.

It was a season high for Letterman and Leno's largest audience since 2004.

Late Night with Conan O'Brien attracted 2.84 million viewers to Ferguson's 2.24 million, a season high and O'Brien's best number since December 2006.

ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live attracted 1.74 million viewers.

The late-night shows immediately went dark when WGA members walked off the job more than two months ago.

Letterman's production company, Worldwide Pants, which produces Late Show and Late Late Show, was able to broker a deal with the WGA to get the writers for the respective shows back on the job. Leno and O'Brien returned sans writers.

For full coverage of the strike, click here.

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