(VARIETY) — NBC continues to be the most popular latenight choice of Americans, with Jay Leno, who’s set to exit “The Tonight Show” in just a couple of months, and Jimmy Fallon, the man who will replace him, both off to their best ratings starts in five years.
The Peacock latenight hosts have opened up considerable distance on their CBS competition and also had no problem topping ABC’s revamped lineup, which has had “Jimmy Kimmel Live” leading into “Nightline” since January.
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Leno saw a boost in his final months the first time he was ready to ankle “Tonight” in 2009, but it must be encouraging for NBC to see his replacement come on so strong this fall. In fact, Fallon is now outdrawing David Letterman’s CBS show in young adults even though the latter starts an hour earlier.