Fallon’s ratings dip as Colbert closes gap in key demographic


Ratings for NBC’s “The Tonight Show” are lagging behind the network’s competition on CBS as rival host Stephen Colbert has made crucial gains among key demographics, according to a New York Times report.

The Times reports that NBC host Jimmy Fallon was overtaken by Colbert in the ratings earlier this year and is now in danger of losing the crucial 18–49 demographic that advertisers covet the most.

Colbert cut into Fallon’s lead among younger viewers in the November sweeps period, finishing just 57,000 viewers behind him, according to data from Nielsen. That’s compared to a gap of 364,000 in the same demographic a year ago. In 2015, the gap was even larger, at nearly 500,000.

{mosads}Fallon still leads Colbert and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel in the 18–49 demographic by on average 90,000 viewers per night. But despite being the youngest late-night host, Fallon’s share of the 18–49 demographic dropped by 26 percent in the Fall.

All three networks have lost viewers in this area, according to the report, but Fallon’s drop was the most significant.

Meanwhile, Colbert’s total audience has ballooned by 23 percent from a year ago, to average 3.7 million viewers a night. He now dominates the late-night field in every other demographic.

Earlier this year, Fallon explained his reluctance to introduce more politics to his show, as Colbert and Kimmel have done, in the face of a Trump presidency.

“It’s just not what I do. I think it would be weird for me to start doing it now,” Fallon said. “I don’t really even care that much about politics — I gotta be honest. I love pop culture more than I love politics. I’m just not that brain.”

”I’ll always make jokes about the president,” he added. “But with Trump, it’s just like every day’s a new thing. He gives a lot of material. A lot of stuff is hard to even make a joke about. It’s just too serious.”

Tags Jimmy Kimmel Live! late night talk shows The Late Show with Stephen Colbert The Tonight Show

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video