Conan vs. Dave? Nightline's Beating Them Both

ABC launches ad campaign to tout its victory
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2009 7:04 AM CDT
In a photo provided by NBC Conan O'Brien makes his debut as the host of NBC's "The Tonight Show" Monday June 1, 2009 in Universal City, Ca.   (AP Photo/Paul Drinkwater/NBC)
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(Newser) – ABC is trying to remind America that it has a show on at 11:35, too. The network is launching a campaign touting Nightline's ratings, which, since Conan O’Brien’s Tonight Show takeover, have averaged 3.459 million viewers a night. That puts it on top of both David Letterman’s Late Show (3.4 million) and the Tonight Show (3.239 million).

“Late night is going through a huge change, and we’re only midway through,” Nightline’s executive producer tells Advertising Age. “There are people who have watched the Tonight Show for a very long time, and I think they’re taking a look around.” Nightline’s ratings are up 14% year-over-year. But a CBS spokesman says the talk shows beat the 30-minute Nightline when comparing their audiences for the first half-hour, which excludes the post-midnight viewer falloff.