NBC Demands Loyalty From Jimmy Fallon Guests: No ABC or CBS for You!

tonight show

Jimmy Fallon is still a new face on The Tonight Show, but NBC is clearly feeling good enough about his ratings to issue new rules for guests of the show that could dissuade some of them from appearing. According to TMZ, NBC is requiring that guests who wish to appear on Fallon’s show do not appear on any similar talk shows — late night or early morning — with CBS or ABC. This doesn’t include other NBC shows of course, such as Today Show and Dateline, but TMZ reports that there have already been some issues with guests The Tonight Show was looking to get on the show.

While some might argue that the move was premature, seeing as Fallon’s time on the show has been somewhat short so far, it’s undeniable that his ratings are impressive. According to the Los Angeles Times, The Tonight Show drew 10.4 million viewers in the first week it ran — the largest audience for The Tonight Show since back in May of 1992 when Johnny Carson hosted it. Not too shabby. Of course, the first week is bound to draw in a curious audience — the show’s newness is at least a portion of what people are interested in. Yet the second week proved highly successful as well, according to the Los Angeles Times, with 5.5 million total viewers, still managing to beat Jay Leno’s average of 4 million viewers. That also (easily) beats ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel and CBS’s David Letterman, with viewing averages that have been under 3 million a night.

So what’s Fallon’s secret? Could it be that he faced off against Annette Bening in an epic game of flip-cup? The dance duos with both Mrs. Obama and Will Smith certainly can’t have hurt. Unfortunately for Fallon’s replacement over at Late Night with new host Seth Meyers, things aren’t going quite as well.