CBS just notched a big win in late-night, with its flagship “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” scoring a victory over its NBC rival “The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon” in total viewers for the 2016-2017 broadcast season.
The victory marks the first win by CBS over “The Tonight Show” with a season-long host in place since the 1994-1995 season.
CBS’s “The Late Show” also chalked up its 16th consecutive weekly win over “The Tonight Show” in total viewers, including sweeping every night for the first time.
“The Late Show” is up 11% over last season, and is the only 11:30 p.m. broadcast to grow from a year ago.
The CBS announcement comes with three nights remaining in the season, and is based on Nielsen most current ratings through May 19.
“‘The Late Show’ currently leads ‘The Tonight Show’ by +22,000 viewers (3.195m vs. 3.173m),” CBS noted in its announcement. “This marks CBS’ first late-night win since 1994-1995 (excluding the atypical 2009-2010 season when NBC replaced Conan O’Brien with Jay Leno midway through the season).”
For the season, “The Late Show” averaged 3.20 million total viewers, up from 2.89 million a year ago.
“For the most recent week according to live plus same day ratings, ‘The Late Show’ topped ‘The Tonight Show’ by +350,000 viewers (3.02m vs. 2.67m, +13%) for the 16th consecutive week, winning every night in viewers for the first time with all originals since the streak began,” CBS noted. “Compared to the same week a year ago, ‘The Late Show’ was up +31% in viewers, +33% in adults 25-54 and +25% in adults 18-49.”
NBC’s “The Tonight Show” continues to lead in the 18-49 demo.