Jimmy Kimmel beat Letterman but not Leno
Ratings analysts are declaring success for the Great Jimmy Kimmel Experiment—the one that involves his moving to an earlier time slot to compete directly with Jay Leno and David Letterman, not the one that involves mixing Jimmy Kimmel with hydrochloric acid to create a hydrogen gas (results of which remain inconclusive). Kimmel's first night in his new time slot saw him pulling 3.1 million viewers, which was more than Letterman's 2.9 million, but just short of Leno's 3.27 million. He similarly bested Letterman in the 18-to-49 demo (887,000 to 667,000), though he again lost to Leno's 1.08 million adults who said, "Hey, let's watch Jay Leno instead of doing literally anything else." Anyway, Kimmel's relatively-strong-for-late-night-in-2012 showing was obviously helped by the curiosity factor of it being his "debut," with the real test being drawn out over the coming weeks. But in the sense that there is still a "War for Late Night" or whatever, Kimmel at least didn't Pat Sajak himself.