For NBC there's good news and there's bad news. The good new: the
Tonight Show has returned to number one following the chaotic Leno-Conan shakeup
. The bad
news: its viewership is now more than 10 years older. It's a damaging
trend for the peacock network because advertisers prefer younger audiences
but, as The New York Times reports
, it's not just an NBC-specific
phenomenon. ABC, NBC and CBS are all hemorrhaging younger viewers. The
median age of Leno viewers is 56, David Letterman's median is 54 and for Craig
Ferguson and Jimmy Kimmel it's 52. What's happening and what can be
- Young People Are Moving to Cable, writes Bill Carter at The New York Times:
"Late night has always held special appeal for young men in particular,
but it is no longer a contest as to where this group’s late-night
preferences lie. Comedy Central’s two hosts, Jon Stewart and Stephen
Colbert, both surpass all the network shows among men ages 18 to 34.
That corresponds to the big edge they enjoy in terms of median age."
Old People Can Be Lucrative, notes Douglas McIntyre at 24/7 Wall
Street: "The news is not all bad for NBC which airs The Tonight Show.
There has been a surge in pharmaceutical advertising on the network
evening news programs which also have older audiences. Ads for drugs
that help with erectile dysfunction and bone loss due to menopause have
nearly taken over the commercial support of the evening news, which has
seen its audience drop as more people turn to cable for their
- Conan Could Capture Young Audiences Via Twitter, writes
Gillian Reagan at Business
Insider: "The median age of his NBC audience was 47.5, the youngest
across all the late night network hosts and Jon Stewart's audience.
Considering his recent online renaissance, he might bring an even
younger rating to a network like Fox. But TV executives and Conan's team
are still hammering out a deal with Fox affiliates to make another late
night franchise work."
- Does George Lopez Have the Answer? asks
Julie Miller at Movieline: "Maybe NBC should just rip a page out of the playbook of
the late night show with the youngest demo — Lopez Tonight, which
boasts a median age of 33 — with some Chola
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