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Jimmy Fallon's 'Tonight Show' debut draws 11.3-million viewers

Jimmy FallonJay LenoConan O'Brien2014 Winter OlympicsBob Costas

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. 

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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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ryan.faughnder@latimes.com

Twitter: @rfaughnder

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Jimmy FallonJay LenoConan O'Brien2014 Winter OlympicsBob Costas
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