Colbert Premiere Triples Letterman Ratings Here


The premiere of “Late Show with Stephen Colbert” more than tripled the ratings of the David Letterman show on the same date last year. While the jump is impressive, it must be taken with a grain of salt, since it includes looky-loos who tuned in out of curiosity. How Colbert will do in the long run is still up for grabs.

colbertStill the ratings for the much-anticipated premiere, which received strong reviews, earned an impressive overnight rating of 7.3 for CBS affiliate WDJT-TV (Channel 58).

On the same date last year, “Late Show With David Letterman” earned a 1.9 rating.

Letterman’s send-off show in May did considerably better, earning an 11.1 rating. Letterman’s show averaged a 2.7 rating in May, up from the 2.0 rating in February. The latter number is typical of Letterman’s performance over the past few years.

Also Tuesday The “Tonight” show on NBC affiliate WTMJ-TV (Channel 4), with Jimmy Fallon, earned a 4.2. This is the standard “Colbert,” which airs opposite it, must meet or beat to stay competitive.

“Jimmy Kimmel Live” on ABC affiliate WISN-TV (Channel 12) which begins at 11 p.m. – 30-minutes after its late night competitors – earned a 2.3.

A local rating point is the equivalent of 8,932 television homes. This means that the cumulative audience for all three late night shows, airing head to head, was slightly more than 123,000 TV homes.


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