Oprah Winfrey's much-hyped appearance on America's The Late Show on Thursday night (01DEC05) gave chat show host David Letterman his biggest TV audience in more than a decade.

More than 13.5 million people stayed up late to watch Winfrey's first visit to Letterman in 16 years, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Letterman has only had three bigger audiences - for his CBS network premiere in 1993 and twice in 1994 in the midst of the Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding ice-skating drama.

Winfrey's appearance more than tripled Letterman's typical audience.