DVRs give 'Conan' the lead among young viewers
NEW YORK – After two months on the air, Conan O'Brien's late-night talk show is the favorite of younger viewers — that is, when DVR usage is factored in, according to basic-cable network TBS.
Most ratings figures count TV viewership only within the 24-hour period after a show is aired. By this standard, "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" is the champ in total viewers, as well as in the desirable 18-to-49 demographic.
But "Conan" ranks No. 1 in the key 18-to-49 and 18-to-34 audience segments when "time-shifted" data is included, which adds viewers of the show up to a full week after its airing.
By this measure, "Conan" has topped all cable and broadcast late-night talk shows since its premiere Nov. 8 through the end of the year, TBS announced late Tuesday.
Time-shifted viewing is accounting for a significant portion of the "Conan" audience, including 361,000 of the 1,443,000 viewers in the 18-to-49 demo, and 236,000 of the 930,000 viewers in the 18-to-34 category watching the show.
Among viewers 18-to-49, NBC's "Tonight Show" ranks second to "Conan," with 1,345,000 viewers, said TBS, citing Nielsen Co. figures for Live-Plus-7-Day viewing.
TBS attributed "Conan's" sizable boost from time-shifted viewing to the show's young fan base, which is more likely to record and watch shows on a delayed basis. The median age for "Conan" viewers is 33, while most broadcast late-night talk shows' audiences have median ages in the 50s. O'Brien's former roost, "Tonight," and its head-to-head CBS rival, "Late Show with David Letterman," are both 56.
The hour-long "Conan," which airs Mondays through Thursdays at 11 p.m. Eastern, overlaps for 25 minutes with "Tonight" and "Late Show," which both air Mondays through Fridays at 11:35 p.m. Eastern.