No wonder ABC wanted David Letterman so badly. His appearance on the network
Monday night as the first guest of a new post-Nightline interview show
called Up Close, hosted by Nightline's Ted Koppel, boosted the
network's rating in that time period (midnight to 12:30 a.m.) by about 28 percent to a 3.2
household rating and a 9 share, according to the Nielsen Media Research
overnight metered-market numbers. Politically Incorrect, which just ended
its run, had been averaging about a 2.5/7 in the time period.
But Letterman the guest was no match for Letterman the host, who had Tom
Hanks on the Monday-night edition of The Late Show with David Letterman, which averaged a 4.0/10
in the overnights, about half a rating point higher than usual.
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno viewers didn't seem to defect, hanging with Leno and
giving Tonight its usual first-place finish with a 4.6/11.
Koppel didn't waste the opportunity to tweak his corporate bosses when he
introduced the press-shy late-night funnyman, saying, "They wanted Letterman and
here he is."