Lilly Singh’s Late-Night Ratings Dropped 25% From Carson Daly’s

And Season 2 of YouTube star’s talk show declined even more than that from Season 1

A Little Late with Lilly Singh
Photo by: Dustin Stafford

On Thursday, NBC announced “A Little Late With Lilly Singh” would be ending after just its second season. Though the move was presented as a talent transition — Singh now has a first-look deal with Universal Television Alternative Studio to develop unscripted projects — the 1:30 a.m. show’s TV ratings also justify cancellation.

Singh, who take over the time slot from Carson Daly’s long-running “Last Call” in 2019, struggled to find viewers — especially in Season 2.

Over his final two years (2017-18 and 2018-19) of an impressive 2,000-episode run that began in 2002, Daly averaged 765,000 over viewers per night (er, morning), according to Nielsen.

Singh’s run over the subsequent two years (2019-20 and 2020-21) shed one-quarter of Carson’s audience, averaging 574,000 total viewers.

What’s worse is that Singh didn’t start out so bad. Daly drew 726,000 viewers per night over his final season; Season 1 of “A Little Late With Lilly Singh” averaged 660,000. (All numbers in this story include one week of delayed viewing where available.)

That 9% decline wasn’t so bad considering the generally downward trend of linear TV ratings. But then Singh’s show fell off a cliff, sinking another 27% from Season 1 to Season 2 (to date).

A little low with Lilly Singh.

Of course, Singh rose to her current level of prominence as a YouTube star, and Nielsen does not count social media platforms (or NBCU’s Peacock) in its ratings. So there is an argument to be made that Singh’s show was more popular than traditional TV ratings suggest. That wouldn’t explain away her own year-to-year declines, but it could be reasonably held up against Daly’s performance.

Now the host of NBC’s primetime reality hit “The Voice,” Daly rose to fame as the host of MTV’s very linear “Total Request Live,” later renamed “TRL,” which he hosted from 1998 to 2003. The music-video countdown show ended in 2008 (except for a short-lived revival from 2017-19).

Either way, it makes sense that NBC is moving away entirely from the idea of a 1:30 a.m. talk show, as a person with knowledge of the plans told TheWrap.

The final original episode of “A Little Late” will air on June 3. Reruns of the two-season experiment will fill the 1:30 a.m. time slot through the summer, we’re told.

Read the note Singh penned to fans about her late-night show ending here.


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