The Winner Of The War For Late Night Is Leno

by  in TV News Comment

I may still be Team Coco in my heart, but the depressing fact of the matter is that the War for Late Night is over, and NBC seems to have made the right decision in returning Jay Leno to the Tonight show, if you’re only looking at the ratings.

Deadline reports that not only did Tonight hit season-high ratings this week, but that the show is a staggering 52% up in total viewers compared with last year’s (Conan) season, with David Letterman’s The Late Show down 15% in the same comparison. For anyone who’s read Bill Carter’s great book The War for Late Night, it’s sad to see that the ratings-led logic that pushed NBC to kick Conan out of Tonight in favor of returning Leno seems to have… well, paid off, kind of.