Early Ratings: Stephen Colbert’s ‘Late Show’ Debut Up 123 Percent From Letterman’s Premiere Last Year

CBS late-night debut draws a 4.9 household rating, according to preliminary numbers

The premiere of “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” drew a 4.9 rating and 13 share Tuesday night, according to preliminary Nielsen household numbers.

The show was up 172 percent from the same night last year. Versus the show’s season premiere with previous longtime host David Letterman last year, Colbert’s debut was up 123 percent.

Colbert far outpaced the late-night competition. In the 11:35 p.m. timeslot opposite “The Late Show,” NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” drew a 2.4, while ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” drew a 1.4.

At 12:30 a.m., NBC’s “Late Night With Seth Meyers drew a 1.1. “The Late Late Show With James Corden,” which got a late start at 12:45 thanks to Colbert’s extra-long debut, drew a 1.3. The extra 15 minutes likely had a downward effect on the rating for “The Late Show.”

Full ratings are expected later Wednesday.

Colbert debuted as host of “The Late Show” Tuesday night, welcoming actor George Clooney and presidential candidate Jeb Bush as his first guests.