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Tuesday September 15, 2009 6:09 pm

Monday Ratings: Kanye and Jay are Gold Diggers

Kanye West on Jay Leno

Curiosity about ‘s new program was already high before this week—but then the VMAs happened, and the Peacock network lucked out.

The debut of NBC’s new 10:00 show was watched by a whopping 17.7 million viewers. That’s nearly double the audience that turned in for Leno’s “goodbye.” (That May finale drew in 11.9 million). The figure bests any number from an NBC series produced last season, including the premiere of Conan O’Brien’s show (9.2 million) in June.

Read More | Variety

‘s 18-49 performance (5.1 rating/13 share) also topped his last outing in the 11:30 time slot. (Jay’s May 29th exit pulled in a 3.4 rating.)

Of course, the numbers in the weeks to come will really tell the tale. Leno faced only faced repeats last night and woke up to mediocre reviews today. He also won’t be armed with more appearances any time soon.

Only two other programs made their debuts yesterday evening. The CW’s One Tree Hill (1.2/3) drew in 2.6 million while (1.4/3) opened to 2.5 million.

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