UPDATE: In updated affiliate-based estimates from Nielsen, the premiere of “The Late Late Show with James Corden” averaged a 0.4 rating in adults 18-49 and 1.66 million viewers overall — the largest “Late Late Show” audience on a Monday since November 2011 with Craig Ferguson as host.
Compared to the averages last fall with Ferguson, Monday’s “Late Late Show” was up 33% (0.1) in adults 18-49 and 13% (about 190,000) in total viewers. And versus the same night a year ago, “Late Late Show with James Corden” was even in the demo and up 22% in total viewers.
The James Corden latenight era began Monday on CBS, with the Brit bringing some new viewers to “The Late Late Show,” according to early returns.
More detailed viewership estimates will be released later today, but Nielsen estimates that the CBS latenight program averaged a 1.4 household rating/5 share in the 56 metered markets. This is a 27% improvement over the same night last year (1.1/4) and it’s up 17% over the “Late Late Show” season average with Craig Ferguson as host from September through mid-December (1.2/4).
By comparison, NBC’s competing “Late Night With Seth Meyers” finished a bit below “Late Late Show” (1.2/4). ABC’s “Nightline,” which also starts at 12:35 a.m. but runs for just 25 minutes, matched Corden’s debut score (1.4/5).
In the 25 markets with Local People Meters that measure adults 18-49, Corden averaged a 0.4 rating/2 share in the demo — the same as its “Late Show with David Letterman” lead-in. He finished a tick behind NBC’s Meyers (0.5/3), who maintained its season average.
Leading into “Late Late Show,” CBS did a 2.2 household rating/6 in the overnights with “Late Show with David Letterman,” putting it a couple of ticks below the 2.4/6 for “Tonight Show” on NBC and “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on ABC. In the demo, “Fallon” (1.0/5) prevailed rather easily over Kimmel (0.7/3) and Letterman (0.4/2).
Corden has acknowledged it might take a while to win over America, as most viewers up late already have a favorite host and ratings for the daypart tend to move at a glacial pace. Another hurdle for Corden is that he comes to latenight a virtual unknown in the States.
Corden started out with small TV roles and shot to fame as the co-creator, writer and star of British sitcom “Gavin & Stacey.” In recent years he’s had more of a presence in the U.S., winning a Tony for the play “One Man, Two Guvnors,” which had transferred from the U.K., and then last year starred alongside Meryl Steep in the musical film “Into the Woods.”