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Ratings Report: Might be time for Leno to create some controversy

October 2, 2009 | 11:51 am

Maybe Jay Leno needs to find something to confess about too.

LENO Thursday night's "Jay Leno Show" on NBC hit a new low in viewers with only 4.96 million tuning in, according to preliminary ratings information from Nielsen. In adults 18-49, the gold standard for advertisers, "The Jay Leno Show" tied its low with a 1.5 rating. To figure out what that means, each rating point in that demographic represents 1.3 million adults 18-49. In the U.S., there are about 131.6 million of those hanging around.

Leno was facing off against strong competition in CBS' "The Mentalist" and the season premiere of ABC's "Private Practice." The former won in viewers with 15.1 million while the latter took first in adults 18-49 with a 4.5 rating. 

On a side note, preliminary national numbers on how  David Letterman did on CBS Thursday night when he confessed office affairs and being the target of an extortion attempt will be out later today. In metered market ratings (don't ask us to explain), his audience was up.

The other story to watch last night (at least from our vantage point) was week two of the ABC serial "FlashForward." It delivered 10.8 million viewers, a drop of 13%. In adults 18-49, it tied CBS' "Survivor" with a 3.7 rating.

Overall, CBS won the night in viewers with 14.2 million, followed by ABC with 12.5 million, Fox with 7.6 million, NBC with 5.5 million (remember when the Peacock OWNED Thursday night?) and the CW with 3 million.

In 18-49, ABC cruised to first place with a 4.7 rating, followed by CBS' 3.8. Fox had a 2.5 while NBC averaged a 2.2. The CW posted a 1.4.

-- Joe Flint

Photo: Jay Leno. Credit: Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

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