Cutie Katie Couric Brings in the Tonight Show Ratings

The "Today" show co-anchor made the numbers as guest host of "The Tonight Show," as the program received a 42 percent ratings gain over its Monday night season average, according to Nielsen.

Appearing in a sexy black gown that showed off a lot of leg, Couric took over the "Tonight Show" on Monday in a one-day job swap with Jay Leno. In the monolouge, she told jokes she heard from her kids and got big laughs.

Her guests were comic actor Mike Myers, "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell and British pop star Robbie Williams. Self-help guru Dr. Phil McGraw also made a surprise walk-on appearance.

The May "sweeps" stunt made "Tonight Show" history, marking the first time someone other than Leno presided over NBC's late-night proceedings since he succeeded Johnny Carson as host in 1992.

Leno's stint on the "Today" show, however, did not do so well posting only a 9 percent uptick in ratings over regular Monday night averages. Leno conducted interviews with Secretary of State Colin Powell and former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

Joking about his "Today" show performance on the syndicated TV show "Access Hollywood, Leno said Powell was a "good sport," adding, "Why get a hard-hitting journalist when you can get softball Leno to ask you the questions?"

Written by Steve Hall    Comments (0)     May-14-03  
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