The Late Show with Stephen Colbert has been leading The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in total viewing numbers for a while now. According to a new report from the New York Times, however, it seems that, for the first time in the program’s history, Colbert‘s successor to David Letterman has finally beat Fallon‘s Jay Leno followup in a very important way.
Per the report, Colbert is leading Fallon in the coveted 18-to-49-year-old demographic among viewers in the 2018-2019 television season. At 692,000 to 686,000 viewers below the age of 50, The Late Show‘s margin of success over The Tonight Show is quite narrow, but it’s also consistent. Combined with the fact that episodes of Colbert’s program have been averaging 3.8 million viewers each (as opposed to Fallon’s 2.5 million), it’s now safe to say that The Late Show is currently the king of late night American television.
As the Times notes, however, Fallon’s total audience has decreased by 17 percent since 2018, while Colbert’s total audience has remained steady. Even so, considering the rival CBS and NBC late night talk shows’ ratings rivalry since 2015, it’s easy to see why The Late Show‘s newfound dominance is so significant. After a slow start following its 2015 premiere, Colbert’s program excelled during and after the 2016 presidential election and ultimately topped Fallon for the first time in mid-2017. Evidently, this hasn’t changed since.
(Via New York Times)