Fallon makes a splash in Chicago ratings

Jimmy Fallon

Jimmy Fallon

Jimmy Fallon, who plunged into the icy waters of Lake Michigan on a dare from Mayor Rahm Emanuel earlier this month, continues to get a warm reception in Chicago.

Four weeks after he took over NBC’s “Tonight Show” from Jay Leno, Fallon is leading the ratings here among all four late-night talk shows — and his Nielsen numbers in Chicago are up substantially over those Leno drew during the same period last year.

Fallon also beats ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel, CBS’s David Letterman and WGN’s syndicated Arsenio Hall (whose show airs from 10 to 11 p.m.) in key demographics among viewers between 18 and 34, 18 and 49, and 25 and 54. In the 18-to-34 demo, Chicago is Fallon’s No. 1 market among the top 25 in the country.

The Brooklyn native no doubt endeared himself to some here when he joined Emanuel in the Polar Plunge March 2 to benefit Special Olympics Chicago. NBC 5 streamed the event on NBCChicago.com, logging more than 18,000 views live and more than 450,000 views for its post-plunge coverage.

Here’s a look at the big four late-night talk shows in Chicago (as measured for the first two weeks in March by Nielsen), followed by rating, share and overall households. Click on the arrows to advance the photos: