Kimmel Tops Leno, Letterman in New Time Slot Debut

Tim Molloy
The Wrap

Jimmy Kimmel beat David Letterman and Jay Leno in his 11:35 p.m. timeslot debut, according to preliminary numbers.

According to Nielsen's local people meter averages for adults 18-49, "Jimmy Kimmel Live" had a .99 rating compared to a 0.78 rating for "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" and a 0.63 rating for "The Late Show With David Letterman." 

In meterered market household ratings, Kimmel had a 2.85 rating and 8 share. Letterman had a 2.68/7, and Leno had a 2.41/6.

More complete numbers were expected Wednesday afternoon.

Kimmel was moving up from his longstanding 12:05 timeslot. Kimmel benefitted from curiousity about how he would fare earlier, just as Conan O'Brien did when he moved to the "Tonight Show." He has drawn attention for steady criticisms of Leno, but it remains to be seen whether he can hold onto his lead when the novelty wears off.

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