The former FBI director’s appearance on Tuesday’s edition of “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” drove the show to its highest overnight rating of the season with a 3.5 rating/9 share in households. CBS noted those numbers represent “Late Show’s” biggest lead over NBC’s “Tonight Show” in overnight household ratings since Colbert took over the show in September 2015. It also marks the show’s third-highest overnight number since Colbert’s tenure began, behind the show’s premiere on Sept. 8, 2015, and the first visit by then-candidate Donald Trump on Sept. 22 of the same year.
“Late Show” led the late-night pack in the adults 18-49 demo but by a much slimmer margin: 0.6/4 compared to 0.5/3 for “Tonight Show” and 0.4/3 for ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
Nielsen’s overnight ratings are derived from 56 metered markets that cover about 70% of U.S. TV households. Final national ratings for Tuesday’s late-night shows won’t be available until later this week.
Colbert devoted most of the show to Comey, who is promoting his new book, “A Higher Loyalty,” that dishes on his brief and bumpy relationship with President Donald Trump.
Comey was fired in May 2017 by Trump, a move that stirred outrage because Comey was steering the FBI’s investigation into possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. In response to Comey’s book, which details his grave concerns about the lack of moral and ethical leadership exhibited by Trump, the president has called Comey a “slime ball” and said he should be in jail.
“He’s tweeted at me probably 50 times,” Comey told Colbert. “I’ve been gone for a year, I’m like the breakup he can’t get over. He wakes up in the morning … I’m out there living my best life, he wakes up in the morning and tweets at me.”