They came. They saw. And many didn’t come back.
We’re talking about CBS’s Late Show with Stephen Colbert, which came down from its debut audience of 6.6 million as is the typically the case whenever a big new program launches. But it must be disturbing to Les Moonves and CBS to see the numbers drop so precipitously this early in the honeymoon in Night 2. Overall, Colbert shed three million viewers, or 44 percent. More importantly – just two programs in – it’s already losing to NBC’s Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and badly where it counts.
Overall for Wednesday (according to Nielsen), Fallon decimated Colbert by 50 percent in the key 18-49 demo, the only age group advertisers care about. In overall numbers, Fallon bested Colbert by 400,000 viewers. Night 3 (Thursday) saw little improvement for the 51-year-old CBS host, with the Late Showimproving by only three percent despite a heavily promoted interview with Vice President Joe Biden, whom some speculated would announce his candidacy on the program (didn’t happen).