Colbert tops Fallon, Kimmel in key demographic for season

Colbert tops Fallon, Kimmel in key demographic for season
© Getty Images

Stephen ColbertStephen Tyrone ColbertHelen Mirren, Ian McKellen act out Trump Ukraine call in Colbert appearance Klobuchar to Colbert: We're going 'to build a blue wall' in PA, WI, MI and 'make Trump pay for it' Sherrod Brown: GOP colleagues privately acknowledge Trump is racist, misogynist 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: What we learned from first impeachment transcripts Kimmel shares clip contrasting Obama's announcement of bin Laden's death with Trump's al-Baghdadi speech The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Nareit — Buttigieg closes in on Biden, Warren in Iowa 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.


"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 faces high stakes in meeting with Erdoğan amid impeachment drama Democrats worry they don't have right candidate to beat Trump Trump threatening to fire Mulvaney: report 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.