DVR playback crowns Conan O'Brien king with young-adult viewers
You may recall that Jay Leno took back his old "Tonight Show" perch on NBC from Conan O'Brien last year. O'Brien started a rival show on TBS. Since then, Leno has settled into a big lead over O'Brien in total viewers as well as a very narrow lead among adults ages 18 to 49, the demographic most advertisers care about.
But that's only counting people who watch the programs live. And it just so happens that O'Brien's fans are big-time DVR users.
Once playback is factored in, O'Brien takes the No. 1 spot in 18-49. During November and December, O'Brien averaged 1.4 million viewers ages 18 to 49, compared with 1.3 million for Leno, 1.1 million for CBS' "Late Show with David Letterman" and 1 million for Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart."
O'Brien has an even bigger lead among adults 18 to 34, with an average of 930,000 viewers. Runner-up Jon Stewart had only 574,000.
As TBS noted in a release late Tuesday, "'Conan' receives a far bigger lift from time-shifted viewing than broadcast shows, which is a reflection of the young fan base that O'Brien attracts."
The median age of the "Conan" viewer is 33. It's 42 for "Daily Show" and 52 for ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" Letterman and Leno attract the oldest viewers among late-night talk shows: Each has a median age of 56.
-Scott Collins (Twitter: @scottcollinsLAT)
Photo: Conan O'Brien. Credit: Art Streiber/TBS