With Super Bowl as Leverage, CBS Is Going All-Out to Pump Up a Key Show

Feb 5, 2016  •  Post A Comment

CBS is putting the heft of Sunday’s Super Bowl behind the effort to pump up the numbers for its late-night flagship. “Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” which has fallen well short of the ratings delivered by NBC’s rival “Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon,” has the plum lead-out spot following the game, and B&C reports that the network has been heavily promoting the live “Colbert” broadcast.

“Not only has Colbert been starring in commercials promoting the special telecast, but the network has been heavily touting his guest list for the night, which will include Tina Fey, Margot Robbie, Will Ferrell, Key & Peele and Megyn Kelly,” B&C reports. The programming move reportedly marks the first time a late-night show will be the lead-out from the Super Bowl.

B&C notes that the move appears to be done out of necessity, as Colbert’s numbers have been steadily eroding — especially among younger viewers. “His fourth-quarter ratings among viewers 18-49 declined from 0.94 in September, to 0.64 in October, to 0.57 in November and to 0.54 in December, according to Nielsen data,” B&C reports. That’s still a little better than Colbert’s predecessor, David Letterman, who averaged a 0.51 in the demo in December 2014. In total viewers, “Colbert” has been averaging about the same 2.6 million viewers who turned out for “Letterman.”

Colbert appeared this week on “CBS This Morning” to fuel interest in the post-Super Bowl broadcast. Here’s the clip …

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