Larry Wilmore launched Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show to an audience of 963,000, watching live or same day on Monday night. That’s short of Stephen Colbert’s calendar year crowd of 1.167 million in the timeslot, but heaps better than the 565,000 viewers @midnight‘s been averaging in the post-The Daily Show slot as it filled the gap between Colbert’s exit and Nightly Show‘s launch.
Wilmore’s opening night audience looked like this: 577,000 in the 18-49 demo, 349,000 in the 18-34 age bracket, and 465,000 were aged 25-54 – aka the news demo. For comparison sake, The Colbert Report nabbed 630,000 in the demo, 365,000 aged 18-34 and 539,000 in the news demo. And, @midnight’s tally showed 391,000 demo viewers, a much-closer-to-Wilmore 268,000 18-34-year-olds, and 314,000 viewers in the news demo.
More revealing numbers for Wilmore will be Tuesday and Wednesday stats, as the show picked up steam with its second episode entirely devoted to the allegations against Bill Cosby, which has received a lot of coverage today, including high praise from late night veteran Jay Leno, who was the undisputed late night ratings leader when he left Tonight Show – both times.
The series finale of The Colbert Report was the most-watched episode in that franchise’s history, with 2.5 million viewers. For comparison sake: when Colbert rushed in where Democrats feared to tread — hosting President Obama not long after the midterm elections — he’d been rewarded with what was then considered a really big turnout, audience-wise. With POTUS as his guest (and The WORD anchor), Colbert’s show jumped nearly 50 percent compared to its season average. An average of 1.732 million people watched that Monday telecast, in which Colbert was telecast from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., the night after hosting the Kennedy Center Honors in town, for his soon-to-be-new employer, CBS.
The episode in which Obama took over The WORD segment to talk about Obamacare, clocked 520,000 18-34-year-olds, compared to previous Thursday’s 278,000. More than half Obama’s audience — 953,000 viewers — fell in the demo.
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