NBC's prime-time viewership improves without Leno

Minus Leno, NBC pulls nearly 50 percent more viewers in his old time slot

Published March 16, 2010 10:13PM (EDT)

Moving Jay Leno out of prime time is paying off immediately for NBC.

After two weeks of non-Leno programming at the 10 p.m. hour, the Nielsen Co. says NBC's viewership is up by 45 percent then. The network's most-watched program of the week was 'Law & Order: SVU" Wednesday at that hour. It had 8.5 million viewers.

Five nights a week, Jay Leno's prime-time average was 5.15 million viewers.

Two lighter NBC shows, "The Marriage Ref" and "Parenthood" had more than 6 million viewers each last week.

NBC shouldn't get carried away, though. CBS had 17 programs in prime time with bigger audiences than "Law & Order: SVU."

By David Bauder

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