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Is Jimmy Fallon’s social success fueling his strong ratings?

3026676-inline-tngtpostbrooklynbridge020614There was certainly a good chance that Jimmy Fallon’s early ratings success would be largely attributable to the Olympics bump he got during his first week as host of ‘The Tonight Show’ and that the numbers would soon come back down to earth. Nearly a full month after the Olympics, though, Fallon has maintained extremely strong numbers overall, with 4.26 million viewers, and especially compared to Jimmy Kimmel’s 2.83 million and David Letterman’s 2.79 million (March 10-14).

It remains difficult to directly measure the impact of social media on ratings, but Fallon’s social proficiency makes it hard to cast aside as an explanation for his steady linear TV numbers. uberVU, a social analytics company recently acquired by HootSuite, provided Lost Remote exclusively with numbers for March 11-20 showing what ‘Tonight Show’ segments are resonating most with fans across Twitter and helping Fallon continue to win the late night battle.

Highlights from the uberVU via HootSuite data:

- Jimmy Fallon received 431,280 mentions

- Demi Lovato tweeting about playing Pictionary on ‘The Tonight Show’ the night before the segment (March 11), and Kevin Bacon reprising his role from ‘Footloose’ (March 21-22) represented the largest spikes.

- Women (57%) drove the majority of the conversation

- Kevin Bacon’s ‘Footloose’ dance (8.2 million views on YouTube since Friday), Fallon’s mentioning of comedian David Brenner’s passing, Billy Joel’s rendition of ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight,’ and the Jon Hamm/Fallon photobombing session at ‘Top of the Rock’ were the most-talked about topics.

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