Is Letterman the New King of Late Night?

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David Letterman has beaten Conan O’Brien in the ratings again.  Last week,The Late Show with David Letterman beat The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien by more than 800,000 viewers.  This is Letterman’s best run since 2000 when he recovered from heart surgery.  He’s had a great guest list, including Sacha Baron Cohen and, most recently, Paul McCartney.  Also, his publicized feud with Gov. Sarah Palin boosted his ratings even more.  Things have really been going well for Mr. Letterman.


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Not that Conan’s doing poorly.  He is well-received by the critics and seems to be keeping his fanbase intact.  Indeed, Conan is cleaning up when it comes to the coveted 18-49 age demographic.  That means that while my dad watches Letterman, I’m watching Conan.  As we all know, advertisers are constantly aiming to attract young viewers so NBC is quite happy with Conan’s ratings.  Of course, I’m sure they’d like to be number one.

A little late night competition never hurt anybody.  For viewers, it’s a win-win either way.  David Letterman is hilarious and an obvious influence on Conan O’Brien, who delivers great comedy night after night.  As a late night viewer, I’m happy with both shows.  We can all exist in harmony!  Still, it’s fascinating to watch this little back and forth ratings battle.

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