Colbert Late Show Ratings

Ratings: Colbert's Late Show Debut Doubles Tonight Show Audience

CBS’ The Late Show With Stephen Colbert got off to an expectedly strong start on Tuesday, drawing 6.6 million total viewers and a 1.4 demo rating, easily topping all of late-night TV.

Colbert’s bow — which featured movie star guest George Clooney, a choppily edited Jeb Bush sitdown and a well-received Donald Trump/Oreos bit that nonetheless ran about a minute too long — also improved 131 and 180 percent on predecessor David Letterman’s most recent Late Show season opener.

The Late Late Show With James Corden led out of that with 1.9 mil and a 0.5.

Among Colbert’s time slot rivals, NBC’s The Tonight Show drew 2.9 mil and a 0.9 (matching its summer average) and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live did 1.7 mil/0.4.

Because someone might ask/wonder: Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show debut drew 11.3 mil and a 3.8 (leading out of the Olympics in February 2014), while David Letterman’s Late Show swan song this past May did 13.8 mil/3.1.

TVLine readers gave Colbert’s Late Show debut an average grade of “B.”


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  1. Megan says:

    Colbert was awesome, as usual. On another note, I used to really like this website. Please get your advertisements under control. It’s getting ridiculous. A full page pop up? An advertisement cutting off every picture?? Please stop ruining this site!

  2. Steven says:

    Any word on how James Corden did last night? I hope he was able to hold onto a good chunk of those viewers.

  3. Luis says:

    A strong debut that played to Colber’s strengths. I thought the national anthem bit was hilarious, especially with Stephen singing harmony the whole way through. The Jon Stewart moment at the end melted my heart. I thought the Oreo bit was hilarious, even if it was too long. The Clooney interview was standard fare but the fake movie clips were great. The editing on the Bush interview was awfully strange; I might actually go watch the whole interview. I wondered how long it would be before Stephen jumped in on a musical performance – it was just great

  4. Mr. Tran K says:

    Stephen Colbert will do a great job taking over the reins of David Letterman as the new host of The Late Show. CBS is now ready to shake up late night TV with Colbert and Corden and they got Fallon and Meyers for some late night competition. IN COLBERT WE TRUST #ColbertNation

  5. Jimmy Fallon’s premiere drew a 3.8 demo with 11.3 million viewers

  6. Russ says:

    The Trump thing should’ve been a few minutes longer. It was probably one of the only parts of the show that wasn’t Milquetoast and mediocre. I love Colbert, but the internet bits he’s been putting out have been much funnier. Will this show even have sketches?

  7. maregolden says:

    I know I am probably in the minority here, but I HATE the “Stephen Stephen Stephen” chanting. I was hoping that wouldn’t carry over from his other show, but alas…

  8. Gerald says:

    But wasn’t it nice that Jimmy Fallon called in to wish him luck. Nice to see they are starting out on good terms.