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Jimmy Fallon has officially been hosting the Tonight Show for a month now and he’s a huge hit. He’s reached some of the highest numbers of viewers in the show's recent history..
The Associated Press reports that NBC’s trade of Jay Leno for Fallon is succeeding beyond the hopes of the executives who engineered it. His fast start is shown through high television ratings and all social media platforms. There has been an increase in young viewers and although NBC anticipated that they would lose some of Leno’s older fans, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Fallon has been bringing in viewers in the key 18 to 40 demographic.
It may be too early to consider him the new king of late night TV, but it’s definitely where he’s headed. NBC is just happy this change is going better than the previous switch in 2009 from Leno to Conan O’Brien, which was very short-lived.
“As a guy who’s been doing this for 36 years, I don’t allow myself to think about this level of success,” NBC broadcasting chairman Ted Harbet told the AP.
Fallon has consistently topped the 4.1 million viewers that Leno averaged the season before this host switch. Fallon is typically averaging about 4.26 million viewers a week, topping Jimmy Kimmel who only has about 2.83 million on NBC.
With the show airing so late at night, people who go to bed early aren’t missing what Fallon’s doing either. Clips from the show can be found all over the Internet the next morning. It seems as though there’s always at least one hysterical clip from each show, and you’re almost guaranteed to see it without even having to go out of your way to find it. YouTube is filled with clips from the show, including the one of Fallon and Will Smith dancing the evolution of hip-hop, which has more than 13 million views.
“What I notice about people’s reactions is not just that they like the show and think that it’s funny, but they like the feel-good spirit,” Harbert told the AP. “There’s a total absence of snarkiness, of cynicism. It’s just there to make you feel good before you go to sleep.”
The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon airs weeknights on NBC at 11:35 p.m.