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Jimmy Fallon’s ‘Tonight Show’ Debut Draws 11.3-Million Viewers

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Jimmy Fallon arrives for the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards show at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, January 13, 2013, in Beverly Hills, California. (Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

Jimmy Fallon arrives for the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards show at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, January 13, 2013, in Beverly Hills, California. (Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

Kirk McKoy

Kirk McKoy

Jimmy Fallon arrives for the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards show at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, January 13, 2013, in Beverly Hills, California. (Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

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By Ryan Faughnder

Los Angeles Times

(MCT)

LOS ANGELES — Jimmy Fallon officially took over the “Tonight Show” Monday night — and brought in a big audience.

About 11.3-million people tuned in to Fallon’s heavily publicized “Tonight Show” kickoff on NBC, according to early numbers from Nielsen, following the network’s prime-time coverage of the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Though the Olympics lead-in probably helped Fallon’s numbers, that’s a solid sampling for the new host, coming after Jay Leno drew 14.6 million on the last night of his 22-year run earlier this month.

Fallon’s debut was the late-night talk institution’s second-biggest audience since May 2009, when 11.9 million watched Leno exit the show for the first time before the botched handoff to Conan O’Brien.

Among key 18-to-49-year-old viewers, Fallon matched the last Leno night, scoring a rating of 3.8. That’s the best number for the show in the advertiser-desired demo since the last time O’Brien hosted.

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©2014 Los Angeles Times

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Jimmy Fallon’s ‘Tonight Show’ Debut Draws 11.3-Million Viewers