Fallon day 2 beats combined ratings of Letterman, Kimmel

Jimmy Fallon has snagged The Tonight Show’s best overnight ratings on a Tuesday in seven years. Day 2 of Fallon’s debut week — which featured a pretty nifty rendition of R. Kelly’s “Ignition”– averaged a 5.3 rating in homes, according to Nielsen’s sweep of 56 local markets.

That’s Tonight’s biggest Tuesday since Feb. 13, 2007, when it also scored a 5.3.

The midnight start didn’t seem to hurt Fallon either; he topped the combined scores of Late Show with David Letterman (2.2) and Jimmy Kimmel Live (1.9) by 29% (5.3 vs. a combined 4.1). Here’s the most interesting stat, provided by NBC (of course): Fallon’s second outing retained 75% of the show’s premiere rating in overnights (5.3 vs. 7.1), up from a 70% retention rate for night two of Conan O’Brien when he headlined the show on June 1, 2009 (5.0 on June 2 vs. 7.1 on June 1, 2009). Yep, they will go there.

Because of NBC’s Olympics coverage, Fallon will air at midnight until Friday, when he’ll move to the traditional 11:35 p.m. start.

One of last night’s guests was Harry Styles (played by Kristen Wiig).


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