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‘Colbert Report’ Finale Scores Series High in Viewers

Star-studded musical send-off pulls in 2.5 million

Stephen Colbert officially got a proper send-off — at least per the Nielsen sheets.

The finale of “The Colbert Report” set a series record high with 2.5 million total viewers on Thursday. The goodbye show, which was heavily star-studded, appeared to have nearly as many people singing along on stage as it apparently did watching along at home.

The half-hour series closer topped Colbert’s previous high from Oct. 29, 2008, when he pulled in 2.4 million total viewers. That show was boosted by lead-in “The Daily Show,” which welcomed President Barack Obama as guest.

And the finale more than doubled last Thursday’s show, when Colbert grabbed 1.2 million total viewers. One more impressive stat from last night: “The Report” was the highest-rated non-sports program on cable in the key-18-49 demographic.

The final “Report” was also a big hit on Twitter. A total of 88,000 tweets by 53,000 reached a unique audience of 2.205 million for a total of 8.496 million impressions, according to Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings.

For comparison, in second place last night, TBS’s “Conan” had a unique audience of 674,000 users, 739,000 impressions, 2,000 unique authors and 2,000 tweets.

Larry Wilmore’s “The Nightly Show” takes over Colbert’s Comedy Central timeslot in mid-January. Until then, Chris Hardwick’s “@midnight” will be @11:30 p.m.

Colbert is on to bigger things: The funnyman will replace David Letterman on CBS’s “Late Show” in the latter half of 2015 after Letterman steps down May 20.