McCain Helps Letterman Beat Leno’s Ratings
An appearance by Senator John McCain on Thursday night boostedDavid Letterman to his best ratings in almost three years. Mr. McCain, the Republican presidential nominee, returned to Mr. Letterman’s CBS show after several weeks of battering from the host for his abrupt decision to cancel an earlier appearance. According to initial overnight ratings, the Letterman show attracted 6.53 million viewers, well above Mr. Letterman’s usual total of about 3.5 million viewers and the best he has scored since Dec. 1, 2005. (That night’s guest was another noteworthy figure with whom the host had had an on-and-off comic feud: Oprah Winfrey.) Mr. Letterman, who usually trails Jay Leno’s “Tonight Show” by a significant margin, easily eclipsed that NBC star; Mr. Leno had 4.57 million viewers Thursday night for a show whose guests included Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic vice presidential nominee.