UPDATE: Fast national ratings for Leno’s final show are in. It drew 14.6 million viewers — the most for “The Tonight Show” since the night of the “Seinfeld” series finale in 1998 — and a 3.8 rating among adults 18-49, the best mark since Conan O’Brien‘s final show in January 2010.
Preliminary metered-market ratings for Thursday (Feb. 6) late night have “The Tonight Show” pulling a 9.2 rating/22 share. Leno’s farewell featured Billy Crystal, Garth Brooks and a host of surprise guests and taped goodbye wishes.
The ratings are Leno’s best since March 19, 2009, when President Obama became the first sitting president to appear on the show, and are running a little ahead of his May 29, 2009, goodbye, which scored an 8.8/20 in the metered-market ratings.
Following “The Tonight Show,” the next-to-last episode of “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” scored its highest metered-market rating ever, a 4.6/15. Fallon’s previous high was a 4.2/12 for a special show following the Super Bowl in 2012.