The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon stayed on top of the late night ratings throughout September.
Millions of Americans were happy to see the NFL return last month. You can include Jimmy Fallon among them. The return of football helped The Tonight Show get a boost in ratings that the late night show carried throughout the month.
Earlier this year, NBC announced that The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon would air special episodes following select Sunday Night Football games this season. The first of those shows came after the week one game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots.
NBC’s coverage of both Thursday Night Football and Sunday Night Football benefited Fallon as The Tonight Show hit a 19-week ratings high to start Sept. The show posted a 0.56 rating, beating out The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (0.31) and Jimmy Kimmel Live! (0.30).
The second week of Sept. also went to The Tonight Show despite the ratings coming back down to Earth. The Late Show stayed the same and ended the week tied with Jimmy Kimmel Live! for second. Shows like Late Night with Seth Meyers, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, and Lights Out with David Spade dropped slightly.
The Tonight Show was on top once again for the week of Sept. 16-20. The rating dipped again but it was a similar story for The Late Show and Kimmel, with only The Late Late Show with James Corden earning a bump in viewership.
Newcomer A Little Late with Lilly Singh posted a 0.14 rating for its first week of shows. That number isn’t too bad considering its 1:35 AM timeslot. It outperformed cable shows like Conan and Lights Out with David Spade.
Sept. 20 marked the end of the television season. Fall is an important time of year for all television networks, so expect a big push from late night shows to make an impact in the ratings.