Schwarzenegger spot boosts Leno ratings

Friday, August 8, 2003

NEW YORK -- Arnold Schwarzenegger's announcement that he was running for governor of California drew the second-highest rating of the year for NBC's "Tonight" show, Nielsen Media Research said Thursday.

The "Tonight" show had a 6.9 rating, according to preliminary estimates. One rating point roughly corresponds to just over 1 million households.

Only Katie Couric's job switch with "Tonight" show host Jay Leno in May drew bigger numbers.

The numbers were bigger in markets candidate Schwarzenegger cares about: 29 percent of televisions in Sacramento, California's capital, were tuned to "Tonight," and 23 percent in Los Angeles.

Oklahoma City, however, had the highest ratings of the 55 markets measured by Nielsen. The actor-candidate wasn't as big a draw clear across the country, where the "Tonight" audience share was 14 in New York.

More complete Nielsen ratings, including an estimate of how many people watched across the entire country, weren't expected until next week.

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