A couple of quick television notes of interest to pass on. First off, for those of you interested in late-night television ratings, for the first time since Leno took back “The Tonight Show” (boo!), “The Late Show with David Letterman” bested its NBC rival in the ratings for the month of October in overall viewers and the key demographic.
However, what’s really interesting here is that both “The Late Show” and “The Tonight Show” were topped in the ratings under the key 18-49 demographic for the first time by Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show,” if you count only fresh October episodes. Even conceding that “The Daily Show” had a better month than usual thanks to the mid-term elections, a visit from Barack Obama, and the build up to the “Rally to Restore Sanity,” it’s still a remarkable achievement for a Comedy Central show to top both network late-night mainstays.
Meanwhile, some of the reason that “The Tonight Show” is suffering — besides having Jay Leno as its host, of course — are the prime time lead-ins that NBC provides. It’s the fourth place network, and there’s very little reason to believe it will vacate that position anytime soon. Its new fall slate has been a disaster, and today, NBC finally pulled the plug on the heavily promoted J.J. Abrams’ produced “Undercovers.” The ratings have been dismal all season long, and in this case, at least, those ratings were warranted. It was a tepid show.