Jimmy Fallon draws biggest 'Tonight Show' audience since Johnny Carson

Image: Jimmy Fallon
Jimmy Fallon brought a big audience back to "The Tonight Show."Today

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By Ree Hines

Heeeere's Jimmy! Viewers welcomed Jimmy Fallon's shift to "The Tonight Show" last week, and now it's clear just how many of them tuned in.

With delayed DVR-watchers factored in, Fallon drew the biggest audience the show has seen since late-night legend Johnny Carson signed off from his 30-year stint behind the "Tonight" desk in 1992. On Thursday, the Nielsen number crunchers revealed that an average of 10.42 million people viewed what Fallon and his premiere-week guests — including Will Smith, Justin Timberlake and the first lady, Michelle Obama — had to offer. 

Fallon's second week is almost behind him now, but he hasn't stopped offering night owls a good reasons to keep watching. Heck, fans are still buzzing about his Wednesday surprise — a love song between reunited rom-com stars Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler.

While Fallon strummed a guitar, Barrymore sang that Sandler was "the Fred to (her) Ginger Rogers," and Sandler returned the sentiment, calling her the "Rob Ford to (his) crack cocaine."

Aw? Definitely aw.

The pair starred side-by-side in "The Wedding Singer" (1998) and "50 First Dates" (2004), and in May, their next on-screen romance, "Blended," hits theaters, so it's no wonder their sweet "Every 10 Years" duet went over so well.

With acts like that, those big ratings might just be the beginning of a late-night TV trend.

"The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. on NBC.