Jay Leno's second final act as Tonight Show host pulled in the late night talker's biggest audience in 15 years, according to Nielsen.
Thursday's show drew 14.6 million viewers, the most since the night of Seinfeld's finale in May 1998, which featured Jerry Seinfeld as Leno's first guest. Overall, it was the fourth largest audience during Leno's run as Tonight Show host.
Among the 18-49 crowd, The Tonight Show drew a 3.8 rating, the best performance since Conan O'Brien ended his brief tenure in January 2010.
Jimmy Fallon, who will take over as Tonight Show host on Feb. 17, benefited from the big audience for Leno's swan song. Late Night with Jimmy Fallon drew the show's best audience (excluding a special post-Super Bowl telecast in 2012) during Fallon's tenure with just over 6 million viewers. It was largest audience for Late Night since David Letterman's final show in June 1993.
With adults 18-49, Late Night drew a 2.0 rating, also Fallon's best, excluding that post-Super Bowl show.
Broadcasting & Cable Newsletter
The smarter way to stay on top of broadcasting and cable industry. Sign up below