How CBS’s New ‘Colbert’ Moved Ahead of the Competition — and Set a Network Record

Sep 28, 2015  •  Post A Comment

CBS reports that its new 11:35 p.m. entry “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” beat NBC’s “Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon” in key demos, thanks to big gains in Nielsen Live+7 ratings.

“Colbert” also set a streaming record for the network — beating even CBS’s prime-time shows.

Looking at the show’s Live+7 numbers for its premiere week — Sept. 8-11 — “Colbert” posted huge gains over its live plus same day results in adults 18-49 (up 67%), adults 18-34 (up 57%) and adults 25-54 (up 58%). The show also added 36% in total viewers.

The gains pushed the CBS show ahead of NBC’s powerhouse “Tonight” in some demos and even in others. CBS reported that “Colbert” extended its lead in total viewers, adding 1.62 million (6.07 million vs. 4.45 million in live plus same day); moved ahead in adults 18-34, adding 400,000 (1.1 million vs. 700,000 in live plus same day); and pulled even with “Tonight” in adults 18-49, adding 600,000 (1.5 million vs. 900,000 in live plus same day); and adults 25-54, adding 700,000 (1.9 million vs. 1.2 million in live plus same day).

“With live+7-day, ‘The Late Show’ extended its lead in viewers over ‘The Tonight Show’ to +1.21 million from 510,000,” CBS noted. “In adults 18-34, ‘The Late Show’ moved from a tie to +0.2 ahead (1.1 vs. 0.9). In adults 25-54 and adults 18-49, ‘The Late Show’ is now tied with ‘The Tonight Show,’ after trailing by 0.3 in both demographics.”

“Colbert” appears to be infusing new life into CBS’s digital platforms. The Sept. 8 premiere episode “continues to rank as the best series debut ever for any CBS show in terms of full episode streams on CBS.com and the CBS apps — even topping all CBS primetime shows,” the network said.

“Premiere-to-date across digital platforms, all streams of ‘The Late Show’ are up triple-digit percentage points over the previous season,” the network added. “‘The Late Show’ has also generated the most social impressions of any late night show, with tweets about the show being read 24 million times, according to Nielsen Social.”

late show with stephen colbert-logo


  1. A new broom always sweeps clean. Let’s see how he’s doing in two months.

  2. Is the delayed viewing because those viewers are watching Fallon or Kimmel live?

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