NBC has reason to be hopeful about handing the reins of The Tonight Show over to Jimmy Fallon: a primetime "best of" special, which aired last night, beat out both CBS and ABC programming in a key 18-49 demographic.
The Best of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, which aired from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. last night, scored a 2.0 rating in that category, beating out Revenge and Betrayal on ABC and The Good Wife and The Mentalist on CBS. Though—except for Betrayal—the CBS and ABC programming had more total viewers, a win in that coveted demographic is surely making NBC breathe a sigh of relief since they hope the youths will follow Fallon into the 11:35 hour. James Hibberd at Entertainment Weekly explained: "For a late-night clip show on a Sunday night on NBC, this is impressive — it’s NBC’s best performance in this slot without sports or the Golden Globes in about a year." (It's worth noting Fallon didn't win the demo in the 9 p.m. hour. That title went to Family Guy and American Dad over at Fox, which benefited from football holdovers.)
NBC has begun hyping its revamped late night with a new ad for The Tonight Show—one which casually forgets the Conan years for the most part—and another for Seth Meyers' gig taking over for Fallon. Meyers doesn't seem quite as ready.