The first night of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon delivered a 2.3 rating/8 share in metered market households, easily winning its timeslot for the night.
The show also delivered stronger premiere ratings than many of its competitors. The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson premiered January 3, 2005 with a 1.8 rating/7 share, while Jimmy Kimmel Live launched January 23, 2003, a half hour earlier than Late Night, with a 2/7.
NBC also says that the premiere was up 35% from a typical installment of Late Night this season, and retained 55% of its Tonight Show with Jay Leno lead-in, compared to the 46% season average.
Of course, Fallon's ratings will likely stabilize somewhere below the current numbers once curious viewers have had a chance to view the show and make up their minds as to whether to keep tuning in.
Craig Ferguson hosted Paris Hilton on his show, and also promoted that night's Late Late Show during CBS primetime, he drew a 1.7 rating/ 6 share. Fallon also out-rated Jimmy Kimmel's show in the half hour they compete head to head 2.7/9 to 2.3/8.