UPDATE: Fast national ratings for Fallon’s last “Late Night” are in: The show drew 6.6 million viewers, the most for Fallon’s tenure and the most for any “Late Night” host since David Letterman‘s final show in 1993. Friday’s hour scored a 2.2 rating in adults 18-49, trailing only Fallon’s post-Super Bowl special from two years ago.
Jimmy Fallon‘s farewell to “Late Night” may not have been a super-emotional affair — he is returning to NBC as the new host of “The Tonight Show” in just 10 days, after all — but his final hour broke ratings records nonetheless.
Preliminary metered-market ratings for Friday (Feb. 7) late night (excluding Philadelphia) show Fallon’s final “Late Night” averaging a 4.8 rating/13 share, according to Nielsen. The rating is the highest ever for the shown any night of the week, more than three times the show’s season average (1.5). The marks beat the 4.6/15 rating from the night before, earned following Jay Leno‘s final “Tonight Show.”
Not only was the 4.8 metered-market household rating the highest in Fallon’s tenure at “Late Night,” but it also represented the highest for the franchise dating back to the mid-’90s.
Fallon’s final guests included Andy Samberg and the Muppets, who joined the comedian for a performance of The Band’s “The Weight.” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” debuts Monday, Feb. 17.