Irony to Jay Leno – Jimmy Fallon situation: ‘The Tonight Show’ surges in viewership

Tonight ShowWell, sometimes a little bit of controversy is all you need in order to get viewers checking out your show. After rumors started to swirl about Jay Leno’s future on “The Tonight Show,” including whether or not Jimmy Fallon could replace him as early as fall 2014, curiosity in actually seeing what Leno would say to slam NBC next started to form. We personally found ourselves tuning in to Jay’s monologue when we otherwise would not have, and doesn’t this have to be some sort of victory for them?

When it comes to the ratings, it certainly has to be: “The Tonight Show” last week brought in some of its best numbers in weeks, including a total viewership of 3.5 million on average to go along with almost a million viewers in the key 18-49 demographic. These are the best totals in either figure since the February sweeps, and you have to imagine that some of the NBC-bashing played a significant role in that. After all, it’s not like Leno really received much of a lead-in from anything on the network’s woeful schedule last week. (Remember, “The Voice” only started on Monday.)

Can Leno keep up this sort of controversy bump? It’s doubtful, if for no other reason than that the host is eventually not going to have the same sort of buzz around what is going on between him and Fallon. If “The Tonight Show” is really not going to be shaking it up for another year and a half, then it is going to be very hard to keep momentum going.

Leno was quiet about the show last night, as the monologue below focuses more on his skewering North Korea.

If you want to check out some of Leno’s recent stabs at NBC, you can do so just by heading on over to the link here.

Photo: NBC

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