Stephen Colbert flexed some ratings muscle with Tuesday’s premiere episode of CBS’s “Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” blowing out NBC’s late-night juggernaut, “The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon.”
Citing preliminary Nielsen data, The Wall Street Journal reports that Colbert’s show delivered a 4.9 household rating and 13 share in 56 major markets — more than double Fallon’s 2.4 rating/6 share.
ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” trailed with a 1.4 rating/4 share.
The turnout for Colbert’s premiere was well above the 2.2 overnight rating delivered a year ago by “Late Show with David Letterman,” the program Colbert is replacing. But the surge was expected, given Colbert’s fan base from his time on Comedy Central and the level of interest in Colbert’s real persona — something that was never revealed on “The Colbert Report.”
“The first guests for Mr. Colbert’s show were movie star George Clooney and Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush,” The Journal report notes. “Because the taping of the show went two hours, much of Mr. Bush’s interview was left on the cutting room floor and at times the interview on television had awkward cuts. Mr. Fallon also popped up twice on Mr. Colbert’s show.”
The report notes that the preliminary figures are rough estimates, with more definitive results due later today.