Stephen Colbert’s Live RNC Shows Bring Buzz And Ratings Gains, But Jimmy Fallon’s ‘Tonight’ Still Rules Roost

Andrew Scott via Instagram

Stephen Colbert’s Late Show enjoyed an modest RNC ratings bump, and a more noticeable spike in digital performance. But NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon continued to rule the time slot by hefty margins.

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert enjoyed lots of buzz featuring live broadcasts on the four nights of the Republican National Convention, for the week ending July 21.

Its average audience of 2.52M viewers was its largest weekly crowd since the week ending May 6. Its 0.5 rating in adults 18-49 and 0.3 in adults 18-34 were its best since the week ending June 24. In the 25-54 news demo, Late Show’s 0.7 was its best since the week ending May 13.

Compared to its prior week, Colbert’s show climbed 21% in viewers (from 2.1M), 17% in adults 25-54 (from 0.6), 25% in adults 18-49 (from 0.4) and 50% in adults 18-34 (from 0.2).  It enjoyed its closest competitive position to Tonight Show in overall audience and in the demo since the week ending April 22.

But Fallon’s Tonight again dominated the slot in every key measure – adults, men and women 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54, plus total viewers.

For the week, Fallon generated a 38% margin over Colbert in the demo  (0.72 rating vs. a 0.52), as well as a 106% advantage over ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live (0.72 vs. 0.35).

In overall audience, Tonight’s 2.73M viewers edged out Colbert’s 2.52M, and Kimmel’s 1.7M.

Across social platforms, the Late Show clips included “The Hungry For Power Games: RNC Edition,” “Jon Stewart Takes Over,” “Melania Trump Did Not Plagiarize Her RNC Speech,” etc. On and the CBS app, the show’s average unique users and total visits per day last week surged by more than 600% over the prior four week average, and by quadruple digit percentage points versus last year. Colbert’s show also broke new single-day records for total streams on Friday, July 22 and had its second-highest day on Monday.

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