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Jay Leno has a bad night against weak competition

October 27, 2009 | 10:23 am

Monday night's "Jay Leno Show" on NBC matched its series low in the 18-49 demographic and hit its second-smallest audience ever, attracting just 4.62 million viewers

This is noteworthy because last night CBS was in reruns at 10 p.m. against Leno and ESPN had a particularly weak (and dull) Monday Night Football game in the Eagles-Redskins matchup. In other words, Leno wasn't exactly going up against top-notch competition. Part of NBC's pitch in making the Leno move was that he would perform well against reruns. Of course, if your big guest is Dr. Phil, a big audience might be hard to come by.

To be fair, it's not as if we are in rerun season yet and audiences are looking for alternatives. Networks don't exactly publicize when a show is in repeats, and in fact even TV listings rarely say anymore whether a show is a rerun or not. December, when most shows are in repeats, will be more revealing regarding the Leno move.

For those wondering when Leno had his smallest audience ever, that was on Oct. 5, when he drew 4.45 million viewers going against the Packers-Vikings game on ESPN.

-- Joe Flint

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