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The Winner of the Leno-Letterman War Is… Nightline?

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We’re coming up on the first anniversary of the Jaypocalypse, which I know brings up a lot of fond memories for all of us. So The Live Feed has checked in to see where the late-night ratings have settled in after the dust cleared, and it turns out that the leader in the fourth quarter of last year was: Nightline, ABC’s late-night news show, which beat both NBC and CBS in total viewers and viewers 25-to-54 (the key demo for news programs, at least).

It’s intriguing to see just how tight Leno and Letterman were for the period, with Leno fractionally edging out Letterman in both measures. And the latest analysis by TV By the Numbers bears out something we noted before: that after all the drama, all of NBC’s claims that it couldn’t afford to put up with the Tonight numbers Conan O’Brien was bringing in—Jay is getting the same ratings, give or take, as Conan was in the advertising demo. (And his ratings are a good bit lower than before he first left the Tonight show.) Conan’s TBS show, meanwhile, has settled in a notch behind Jay and Dave, not dramatic numbers but ones that TBS is probably happy with.

The more things change, the more the ratings stay the same.

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