Stephen Colbert’s homage to Paris appears to have brought him an early household ratings pop.

In Nielsen’s 56 metered markets, CBS’ The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (2.6/7) finished just shy of NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (2.7/7); ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live (2.0/5) followed. One week earlier, the spread between Colbert (2.0/5) and Fallon ( 2.6/7) had been bigger; Kimmel clocked 1.9/5.

Late Show Colbert logo squareIn the 25 markets with Local People Meters, Fallon logged an early demo 1.0/5 rating last night, while Colbert and Kimmel tied with 0.6/3. One week earlier, Fallon logged the same 1.0/5, and Colbert and Kimmel tied with a 0.5/3.

A show devoted entirely to the people of Paris freed Stephen Colbert from broadcast talk-show TV’s stifling format last night. Rather than interview some Hollywood starlet or president candidate about her upcoming TV show or CNN debate, Colbert instead tormented Bill Maher, after which a bunch of acrobatic cats who’d been booked to perform appeared to go on strike on stage in solidarity with Maher.