"The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" scored premiere week wins over David Letterman, both overall and in the key demo, but neither win was especially convincing.
For the season's first official week, Leno earned a 1.0 rating in the key 18-49 demo, exactly 0.1 ratings points ahead of Letterman. The margin of victory was every bit as small overall, where Leno beat Letterman by 15,000 viewers.
Bill Carter of the NY Times
is quick to note that Leno's margin of victory is connected almost entirely to his substantial Friday night win, typically Letterman's worst night of the week.
Carter also points out that although he got a weekly win, Leno is down 23 percent in the key demo from Premiere Week 2008 and 20 percent in total viewers.