Stephen Colbert Tops TV Season In Demo For First Time, Increases Total Viewer Lead

Stephen Colbert

Late Show With Stephen Colbert will finish the 2018-2019 season on top of late-night TV in the demo for the first time. He’s on track to finish about 18,000 ahead of Fallon’s in the key 18-49 age bracket, after trailing by 72K last season.

The milestone marks the first Late Show demo win since Colbert took over as host and first overall since the 1994-95 season.

Colbert also will mark his third consecutive win in overall audience, this time with a larger-than-last-season lead of 1.37 million viewers – up from the previous season’s 1.2M margin. It marks the program’s longest winning streak and largest margin for CBS over The Tonight Show since the 1993-94 TV season.

Walking up to the season’s end, Colbert clocked his third biggest Late Show crowd ever last Thursday with his The Big Bang Theory special broadcast. The episode, which aired hours after CBS broadcast the comedy series’ very last episode, attracted 5.765 million viewers as the late-night host sat down with the entire cast after it ended its 12-season run. After the interview, Barenaked Ladies performed Big Bang’s theme song.

That night’s crowd is the third biggest since Colbert became host of the CBS show. Colbert’s record crowd remains his debut in September 2015, which averaged an estimated 6.6 million Live+Same Day viewers. His second biggest crowd came later that month, when he interviewed then-candidate Donald Trump and clocked 5.85 million viewers.

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