Jay Leno's final Tonight Show telecast delivered the show's highest Friday numbers in Leno's 17-year run as host.
The telecast averaged an 8.8 rating/20 share, according to preliminary numbers from Nielsen Media Research. That's an increase of more than 100% over The Tonight Show's average for the quarter and marks the best overnight rating for any night of the week since Thursday, March 19, when President Obama was Leno's guest.
Friday's show featured Conan O'Brien, who takes over as host of the venerable late-night institution on Monday.
The final week of The Tonight Show, which featured a raft of high-profile guests including Billy Crystal performing a farewell musical medly, averaged a 5.5 rating in metered-market households, a 41% increase on the show's 3.9 second-quarter average.
The hefty tune-in for Leno also lifted Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, which delivered its second-highest metered-market rating ever on Friday, posting a 3.8 rating/12 share. Only the March 19 telecast that followed President Obama's Tonight Show appearance posted a higher rating. Friday's Late Night was up 124% percent over the show's 1.7 rating/6 share average for the quarter.
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