TV ratings: 'The Jay Leno Show' debuts to 17 million-plus

jayleno_290.jpgFast National ratings for Monday, Sept. 14, 2009

The debut of "The Jay Leno Show" led NBC to a ratings victory Monday night, drawing an audience of nearly 18 million people for its premiere.

Leno's show, which featured Jerry Seinfeld and an unplanned interview with musical guest Kanye West about his much-talked-about Video Music Awards appearance, averaged 17.7 million viewers. That compares favorably to Leno's "Tonight Show" farewell in may, which brought in 11.9 million people.

NBC led the prime-time race by a wide margin, averaging 15.1 million viewers and a 9.3 rating/15 share in households for the night. CBS -- which had coverage of the U.S. Open men's final bleed into primetime -- was a distant second with 5.9 million viewers and a 3.8/6. ABC (5.01 million, 3.3/5) narrowly beat FOX (4.95 million, 3.3/5) for third. The CW's Monday premieres averaged 2.6 million viewers and a 1.7/3.

NBC also led the adults 18-49 demographic with a 3.9 rating. CBS and FOX tied for second at 1.8. ABC scored a 1.5 and The CW a 1.3.

Monday night hour by hour:

8 p.m.

NBC:
"America's Got Talent" (12.7 million viewers, 7.9/12 households)
ABC: Movie - "Dreamgirls" (5.6 million, 3.6/6)
CBS: U.S. Open/"How I Met Your Mother" rerun (5.5 million, 3.4/5)
FOX: "House" rerun (4.8 million, 3.1/5)
The CW: "One Tree Hill" season premiere (2.6 million, 1.7/3)

18-49 leader: "America's Got Talent" (3.0)

9 p.m.

NBC:
"America's Got Talent" (14.9 million, 9.1/14)
CBS: "How I Met Your Mother" reruns/"Two and a Half Men" rerun (6.1 million, 3.9/6)
ABC: "Dreamgirls" (5.16 million, 3.4/5)
FOX: "House" rerun (5.15 million, 3.4/5)
The CW: "Gossip Girl" season premiere (2.5 million, 1.7/3)

18-49 leader: "America's Got Talent" (3.6)

10 p.m.

NBC:
"The Jay Leno Show" (17.7 million, 11.0/18)
CBS: "Two and a Half Men"/"The Big Bang Theory"/"CSI: Miami" reruns (6 million, 4.0/7)
ABC: "Dreamgirls" (4.3 million, 2.9/5)

18-49 leader: "The Jay Leno Show" (5.1)

Ratings information includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are preliminary and subject to change, especially in the case of live telecasts.

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