President Obama’s appearance on NBC’s “Tonight Show” on Thursday lifted the program to its highest ratings in more than four years.

“Tonight” drew an 11.2 rating among households in the 56 largest TV markets measured by Nielsen Media Research. That was the highest figure since the Jan. 24, 2005, show that paid tribute to Johnny Carson. This season, “Tonight” had been averaging a 3.9 household rating.

Complete ratings for the show, including total viewer figures, will not be available until Thursday.

Obama -- who discussed various topics, including the furor over the AIG bonuses and whether the White House would get a basketball court -- was the first sitting president to appear on a late-night talk show.


-- Scott Collins