Early Ratings: Donald Trump Powers Jimmy Fallon to Best Friday in 18 Months

‘Tonight Show’ tops Stephen Colbert’s “Late Show” for the first time in the metered market households

Last Updated: September 12, 2015 @ 9:04 AM

Jimmy Fallon capped off a heck of a ratings week against Stephen Colbert‘s first few “Late Show” episodes, hitting an 18-month Friday high courtesy of guest Donald Trump.

“The Tonight Show” grew for a third straight night in the very preliminary metered market household ratings from Nielsen, landing a 3.6 last night. Colbert settled for a still-strong 2.8.

It was actually the first time Fallon topped “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” in the early numbers, though the NBC late-night talent did best his new competition in total viewers on both Wednesday and Thursday.

Fallon jumped 38 percent above its summer average (a 2.6) through Sept. 7. In additional to The Donald, Jimmy also welcomed “Empire” star Terrence Howard and musical guest Pharrell Williams.

Colbert’s results were nothing to sneeze at, as his Friday was up 47 percent over the same night last year with David Letterman in the “Late Show” chair. Jimmy Kimmel settled for a distant third, with a 1.6 household rating.

Thanks to the strong lead-in with a marquee guest, Seth Meyers‘ “Late Night” matched its best Friday household numbers in the same year-and-a-half period, with a 1.6. The 12:35 a.m. ET show rose 33 percent above its own summer average (1.2).

“Late Night”s’ main competition, James Corden‘s “Late Late Show” had a 1.3 last night.

Meyers’ guests on Friday were Andy Samberg, Kevin Love and director M. Night Shyamalan.