Late-Night Numbers: NBC’s ‘Fallon’ Widens the Gap on CBS’s ‘Colbert’ — Here Are the Rankings

Oct 22, 2015  •  Post A Comment

NBC’s “Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon” has opened up its biggest lead yet over CBS’s “Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” both in total viewers and in the key 18-49 demo, as the two late-night franchises continue their head-to-head ratings battle.

The ratings situation echos the perennial battle between the forerunners of Fallon and Colbert, when NBC’s Jay Leno consistently outdrew CBS’s David Letterman during the two hosts’ long tenures.

NBC announced that “The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon” won the week of Oct. 12-16 by a +56% margin in adults 18-49 over “Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and by a +30% advantage in total viewers — the largest margin of victory to date in both measures for Fallon over Colbert.

Fallon delivered a 0.92 rating for the week in 18-49, with 3.409 million total viewers, to Colbert’s 0.59 average in 18-49 and 2.628 million viewers. The results are based on Nielsen Media Research “live plus same day” figures.

NBC’s announcement notes that while CBS won Colbert’s premiere week, Sept. 7-11, in total viewers, Fallon won that week in the 18-49 demo and has remained on top in both measures in the five weeks since then.

The NBC release states: “In the prior five weeks since Colbert debuted, Fallon’s margins in 18-49 have been +28% for the week of Sept. 7-11, +38% for Sept. 14-18, +35% for Sept. 21-25, +41% for Sept. 28-Oct. 2 and +38% for Oct. 5-9. In total viewers, Colbert led his debut week, Sept. 7-11, by +13%, then Fallon won by +22% during the week of Sept. 14-18, +11% for Sept. 21-25, +19% for Sept. 28-Oct. 2 and +22% for Oct. 5-9.”

Leading out from “Fallon” and “Colbert,” NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers” continues to hold a solid lead over CBS’s “Late Late Show with James Corden” in the 12:35 a.m. slot.

Here are the latest rankings, with results for week 4 of the 2015-16 season based on Nielsen “live plus same day.” Season-to-date totals are calculated on the basis of “live plus same day” for the two most recent weeks with previous weeks based on “live plus seven days.”

Week of Oct. 12-16

(rating and share in 18-49, followed by total viewers)

11:35 p.m.-12:35 a.m.

Tonight Show (NBC): 0.92/5; 3.409 million

Late Show (CBS): 0.59/3; 2.628 million

Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC): 0.52/3; 2.216 million

12:35-1:05 a.m.

Nightline (ABC): 0.35/2; 1.438 million

12:35-1:35 a.m.

Seth Meyers (NBC): 0.46/3; 1.572 million

James Corden (CBS): 0.33/2; 1.234 million

(Friday’s “Kimmel,” “Late Night,” “Late Late Show” and “Last Call” were encores. Thursday’s “Late Show” and “Late Late Show” were delayed by an NFL overrun.)

Season to date, through Oct. 16

(rating and share in 18-49, followed by total viewers)

11:35 p.m.-12:35 a.m.

Tonight Show (NBC): 1.05/5; 3.782 million

Late Show (CBS): 0.83/4; 3.379 million

Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC): 0.56/3; 2.365 million

12:35-1:05 a.m.

Nightline (ABC): 0.37/2; 1.525 million

12:35-1:35 a.m.

Seth Meyers (NBC): 0.51/3; 1.661 million

James Corden (CBS): 0.37/3; 1.367 million

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One Comment

  1. My prediction was that Colbert would draw what Dave did in terms of total audience numbers, but be on the younger side of the demo. This is not great news for CBS. They cut costs as it is a cheaper show to produce, but have not necessarily grown in the time slot..

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