CBS’s “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” reached a milestone last week, opening up its widest margin over its NBC rival in total viewers since the show’s premiere in September 2015.
“Colbert” delivered an average of 2.87 million viewers during the week of July 17-21, a margin of 450,000 total viewers over NBC’s “The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon,” which averaged 2.42 million. ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” was in reruns and settled for 1.62 million.
Fallon continued to have the edge in the key 18-49 demo, averaging a 0.59 rating to Colbert’s 0.43, with Kimmel third with a 0.37 average.
The period featured “Russia Week” coverage on the CBS show, spotlighting Colbert’s much-hyped recent trip to St. Petersburg and Moscow. CBS noted that Colbert’s 19% margin over Fallon in total viewers was the show’s largest during a week of all first-run broadcasts since the week ending Sept. 11, 2015.
For the season to date, Colbert holds a smaller advantage over Fallon in total viewers: 3.25 million on average for the CBS show to 3.08 million for Fallon and NBC, with ABC’s Kimmel third at 2.18 million. The season-to-date figures for the 18-49 demo show Fallon ahead with a 0.79 average rating, followed by Colbert at 0.58 and Kimmel at 0.48.