Leno Trounces Letterman in Return

Jimmy Fallon tops Craig Ferguson in ratings race
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2010 11:47 AM CST
A promotional NBC poster featuring Jay Leno, is shown Thursday, Dec. 3, 2009 in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

(Newser) – Jay Leno owned the 11:35 time slot last night, smashing both David Letterman and ABC’s combination of Nightline and Jimmy Kimmel as curious viewers tuned in to see Leno take back the Tonight Show gig. Leno scored a 5.7 rating, compared to 3.0 for Letterman, 3.4 for Nightline, and 1.8 for Kimmel, Entertainment Weekly reports.

Jimmy Fallon rode Leno's coattails, beating Craig Ferguson by a 40% margin. The ratings were expected, given the hoopla surrounding Jay’s return. Conan O'Brien’s Tonight Show debut drew huge ratings, too, as did Leno’s early 10pm outings.

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