Colbert tops Fallon, Kimmel in key demographic for season

Colbert tops Fallon, Kimmel in key demographic for season
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Stephen ColbertStephen Tyrone ColbertDavid Spade says he won't joke about Trump on new comedy show David Spade says he won't joke about Trump on new comedy show Democrats should initiate a 'Fire Mitch McConnell' campaign MORE led CBS to its first season win in the late-night talk show race in 25 years in a key demographic advertisers covet most.

According to Nielsen Media Research, the former Comedy Central star topped NBC's Jimmy Fallon and ABC's Jimmy KimmelJames (Jimmy) Christian KimmelThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden's abortion funding reversal riles 2020 field The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden's abortion funding reversal riles 2020 field Pelosi promises 'ironclad case' against Trump MORE in the key 18- to 49-year-old demographic, with Colbert registering 679,000 viewers per night. He edged Fallon's 659,000 viewers in the category, while Kimmel averaged 486,000.

The victory in the demographic is the first for CBS in the 11:30 p.m. ET slot since 1994.

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"The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," which originally struggled from a ratings perspective after launching in 2015, also easily beat Kimmel and Fallon in total viewers for the third straight year.

Colbert finished the season, which officially ended Wednesday, with 3.82 million average nightly viewers, dwarfing Fallon’s 2.44 million and Kimmel’s 2.04 million.

All three late-night show lost viewers year-over-year, however. Colbert's audience dropped by 2 percent, while Fallon was off by 9 percent and Kimmel was down 10 percent.

Fallon originally dominated the race between Colbert and Kimmel when the three were first matched up four years ago. But once Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump defends Stephanopolous interview Trump defends Stephanopolous interview Buttigieg on offers of foreign intel: 'Just call the FBI' MORE entered the presidential race, late-night shows became more focused on political news, and Colbert, a frequent critic of Trump who formerly hosted the political satire show "The Colbert Report" on Comedy Central, eventually jumped ahead of Fallon in total viewers.