“The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” scored its highest ratings in five years on Thursday night, its final show with Leno as host and the last to be broadcast from Burbank.
The late-night talker drew in a 9.2 rating, or about 14.6 million of all U.S. households with televisions, and a 22 percent share of all households tuned in during “The Tonight Show” time slot.
The last time Leno had comparable numbers was in March 2009 when President Barack Obama was a guest and pulled in a 11.3 rating and a 26 percent share.
In its final full week with Leno as host, the show pulled in an average nightly audience of 4.99 million, an increase of about 30 percent from the same period a year ago, according to trade publication Variety.
“The Tonight Show” broadcast from Burbank since 1972 when then host Johnny Carson moved it from New York City. It will return to the Big Apple on Feb. 17 with Jimmy Fallon taking over as host.
The show’s move will result in the elimination of up to 164 positions at NBCUniversal, though employees are being offered the opportunity to continue with the show in New York or in other positions.
“The Tonight Show” is not the only NBC property moving from the Burbank studio. This month news station NBC4 vacated the campus and relocated to Universal Studios in Universal City.
NBC sold the 34-acre campus on Alameda Avenue in 2007 to a private developer. A new tenant, the iHeartRadio Theatre, a live-musical venue, moved in last year, taking up some of the vacant space at the facility, now dubbed The Burbank Studios.