O'Brien ends 'Tonight Show' stint on a high

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The Independent US

Early ratings suggest that Conan O'Brien won a hefty audience for his final hour hosting The Tonight Show, which he has been forced to give up to the former host Jay Leno after tumultuous negotiations with the NBC network that have been plastered across the American press.

O'Brien, who has previously suffered poor viewing figures, scored around 7 million viewers for his farewell appearance on NBC Friday, compared with 2.5 million for CBS's Late Show with David Letterman, the show's main rival.

O'Brien, who signed a severance deal worth some £20m last Thursday, ended his run on the show by saying: "Every comedian dreams of hosting The Tonight Show and, for seven months, I got to. I did it my way, with people I love, and I do not regret a second."