September 16, 2009

Nearly 18M watch ‘Leno’ premiere

Monday's premiere telecast of The Jay Leno Show in Burbank, Calif., was watched by 17.7 million viewers overall, NBC announced.

The first edition of the new primetime weeknight chat show featured interviews with Jerry Seinfeld and Kanye West, a musical performance by West, Jay-Z and Rihanna, and a video appearance by Oprah Winfrey.

It's great to launch this innovative new show with such strong initial sampling, but we realize this is just one night and that we're going to build our business in this time period with ratings that will level out over time, Jeff Gaspin, chairman of NBC Universal Television Entertainment, said in a statement. Our focus is on delivering a great show and developing a consistent comedy viewing habit at 10 p.m. over the long haul.