×

Stephen Colbert’s ‘The Late Show’ Opens Big in Overnight Ratings

UPDATE: In updated “live plus same-day” fast national estimates from Nielsen released Thursday morning, CBS’s premiere of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” averaged 6.6 million viewers, marking Tuesday’s most watched late-night program.

Colbert trumped the competition with Jimmy Fallon’s “Tonight Show” pulling in 2.9 million viewers on NBC, and ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” averaging 1.75 million viewers.

Comparing Colbert’s bow to past late-night debuts, Jimmy Fallon opened to 11.3 million viewers in Feb 2014, though he had a lead-in from the Winter Olympics and his start time was pushed back to 12:05 a.m. ET.

Stephen Colbert opened big on his first night at the helm of CBS’ “The Late Show.”

In Nielsen’s 56 overnight metered markets, which cover about 70% of U.S. TV households, Tuesday’s hourlong-plus telecast averaged a 4.9 household rating/13 share. It easily dominated the late-night competition and marked a 123% increase from “The Late Show’s” season premiere last year in David Letterman’s final season as host.

NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” dropped to second place with a 2.4/6 while ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” delivered a 1.4/4.

“The Late Show” ran six minutes long in its inaugural outing. The big turnout for Colbert’s launch gave a lift to its 12:35 a.m. companion “Late Late Show with James Corden.” Corden’s hour delivered 1.3/5, elbowing past NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers” (1.1/4)

More detailed ratings information for “The Late Show” will be available later today.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • 'The Muppets' Short-Form Series Coming to

    'The Muppets' Short-Form Series Coming to Disney Plus

    Kermit, Miss Piggy and co. are coming to Disney Plus. A short-form unscripted series starring the goofy puppets is set to premiere on the forthcoming Disney streaming service in 2020. The news was announced at the Disney Plus D23 Expo event. The announcement came with a brief teaser of Kermit and Joe the Legal Weasel [...]

  • Succession HBO

    'Succession' Composer Nicholas Britell on Making Music for the One Percent

    The Roys, the media empire family at the heart of HBO’s “Succession,” are ridiculously rich. They’re manipulative and cruel. They’re also a bit delusional and absurd. When Nicholas Britell conceived the show’s score, he wanted to capture all of that. “I wrote in this almost late-1700s, dark classical zone,” says Britell, the Oscar-nominated composer of [...]

  • Ewan McGregor of 'American Pastoral'Variety and

    Ewan McGregor Confirms Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney Plus Series to Shoot Next Year

    Ewan McGregor has confirmed that he will be reprising the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi for a Disney Plus series centered around the powerful Jedi, after Variety previously reported that he was in talks for the series. At Disney biennial D23 convention in Anaheim, Calif. on Friday, McGregor provided more details about the prospective show and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content