Ever since the late night talk shows returned to the air, Leno has been beating Letterman in the ratings, as he has for a good dozen years. This despite Leno still working without his writers (a terrible, uncomfortable sight), all of whom are still on strike. Letterman's production company's deal with the WGA gave him back his staff, but hasn't awarded him a ratings edge—until Monday! "In the overnight ratings, measuring the country's 65 largest cities, Mr. Letterman had a 4 rating on Monday to Mr. Leno's 3.8. (Each point is worth 787,659 households.)." Of course, Leno still won the first half-hour. But once they brought the guests out, Letterman had America's favorite Oscar-whoring not-funny-anymore superstar Tom Hanks! Leno had Ron Paul. Enough to win an unscientific online poll, yes, but not to beat Forrest Gump in Nielsen households. So writers finally have some proof that their contributions are important! Specifically, their contribution of a sad picket line that SAG members and bleeding-heart superstars will hopefully continue to refuse to cross. [NYT]