The Late Show With Stephen Colbert has snagged the cushiest time slot in all of TV, following CBS’ broadcast of Super Bowl 50 — marking the first time a late-night series will air live right after the game.
CBS today announced the special live edition of its late-night franchise from the Ed Sullivan Theatre in Manhattan on Sunday, February 7, suggesting optimistically that it would air at 10-11 PM ET. After Colbert’s for-the-record-books broadcast (and late local news), The Late Late Show With James Corden will air a “special Super Bowl Sunday edition,” the network added.
The announcement comes the morning after viewers of Fox Business Network’s GOP debate saw ads for Colbert and Corden’s CBS late-night programs.
Post-Super-Bowl broadcasts churn up record ratings for the show lucky enough to get the slot. This past February, for instance, NBC’s The Blacklist got the super-slot, delivering the James Spader starrer an 8.7 demo rating and 26.5 million viewers – easily its best stats in both metrics. Those numbers also made it the most-watched scripted show on that network since ER copped 28.3 million on May 6, 2004 — the night of the Friends finale.
NBC also gave its flagship late-night show a push that Super Bowl Sunday. The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon headed to Phoenix, also for a special live telecast that night, but after The Blacklist and NBC stations’ late local news. Fallon’s show broadcast from Phoenix’s Orpheum Theater that night, and earned a 3.58 demo rating and 9.730 million viewers overall. That made it the second-highest-rated Fallon installment of either Tonight or his previous venue.
In total viewers, that Tonight Show was the most-watched post-Super Bowl talk-show telecast in the history of people meters, besting prior editions of Tonight, Jimmy Kimmel Live (including the show’s 2003 series premiere), Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson and Politically Incorrect, all having aired from 1998-2013. In 18-49, this year’s Tonight was the No. 2 post-Super Bowl talk-show telecast, behind only a 1998 edition of The Tonight Show With Jay Leno (4.22).