“The Colbert Report” signed off on Comedy Central with series-high ratings on Thursday night, roughly doubling its recent averages.
According to Nielsen estimates, the half-hour finale of the long-running fake-news program averaged 2.48 million viewers overall and a 1.0 rating in adults 18-49 — building on its “Daily Show With Jon Stewart” lead-in (2.03 million, 0.8) by more than 20% in both categories.
The only cable program to rate higher than “Colbert Report” on Thursday was an NFL game on NFL Network.
“Colbert” had been picking up steam in recent weeks, averaging 1.12 million viewers a couple of weeks ago and then 1.30 million last week. It did a 0.5 demo rating in both weeks.
A recent high-water mark came earlier this month when “Colbert” drew 1.73 million with President Obama as a guest.
Colbert will step out of his “Colbert Report” character to take over for David Letterman as host of CBS’ “Late Show” in the second half of next year. The “Colbert Report” timeslot on Comedy Central will be filled starting Jan. 19 by “The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore.”