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‘Late Show With Stephen Colbert’ Narrowly Tops Late-Night Ratings for 2018-2019 Season

Joe Otterson

The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” is officially number one.

For the first time since he took over from David Letterman in 2015, Colbert and his CBS late-night show topped NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” in the adults 18-49 demographic. Colbert is averaging a 0.52 rating in the key demo to Fallon’s 0.51, which translates to 679,000 viewers for Colbert and 659,000 for Fallon. The numbers are based on Nielsen’s Live+7 ratings from Sept. 24-May 10 and Live+3 ratings from May 13-17. ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” is third with a 0.38 rating, or 486,000 viewers.

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Not only is this the first time Colbert has topped Fallon for a full season, but it marks the first time “The Late Show” has topped late-night since the 1994-1995 season under Letterman. However, all three shows saw double digit drops in their demo ratings compared to last season.

Colbert also won out in total viewers for the third season in a row. “The Late Show” averaged 3.82 million viewers this season, compared to 2.44 million for “The Tonight Show” and 2.04 million for “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”

In the 12:35 a.m. slot, NBC’s “Late Night With Seth Meyers” remained on top with a 0.3 rating and 1.45 million viewers. CBS’ “The Late Late Show with James Corden” averaged a 0.23 rating and 1.35 million viewers.

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