Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien remained the latenight heavyweights in February, although auds continue to drift away from all post-primetime broadcast offerings.
Year-to-year comparisons for the latenight shows on ABC, CBS and NBC weren't pretty in the sweep, although ABC's "Nightline" -- which was unaffected by the writers strike -- held up better than the others.
According to Nielsen estimates for the February sweep (Jan. 31-Feb. 27), NBC's "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" topped CBS' "Late Show With David Letterman" by 29% among adult 18-49 viewers (1.95 million to 1.51 million) and by 34% in total viewers (5.15m vs. 3.83m), with Leno down year-to-year in the demo by 23% year-to-year and Letterman off by 22%.
Sweep included some writerless hours of "Tonight Show," whose scribes returned in early February following the resolution of the Writers Guild strike. "Late Show" had its writers intact throughout the month.