Stephen Colbert’s ‘Late Show’ Debut Scores 6.6 Million Viewers

Total is up more than 200 percent versus same night last year

Last Updated: September 9, 2015 @ 11:48 AM

Stephen Colbert kicked off his “Late Show” tenure to the tune of 6.6 million total viewers on Wednesday, which was up 203 percent versus David Letterman‘s same night last year.

The viewership mark was the late-night franchise’s best Tuesday total since 1995 — not counting Dave’s final week, that is.

Among adults 18-49, Colbert’s premiere was up 250 percent from that night; it was 260 percent higher in the 25-54 demo. Read the earlier overnight numbers here.

On CBS.com, “The Late Show” unsurprisingly experienced its highest premiere day traffic ever — streams of the full episode are up triple digits compared to last year to-date. In addition, though perhaps another no-brainer, the premiere of “The Late Show” was the most social entertainment show on television yesterday according to Nielsen Social Guide.

Last night, Colbert easily topped his competition with a 4.4 household rating/12 share and 6.55 million viewers. He had a 1.4 rating among adults 18-49, and a 1.8 in 25-54.

Jimmy Fallon got a 2.1/6 and 2.92 million viewers. “The Tonight Show” received a 0.9 in the 18-49 demo and a 1.1 in the 25-54 group.

Jimmy Kimmel posted a 1.2/3 in households and 1.75 million viewers. “Jimmy Kimmel Live” had a 0.4 in the younger demo, a 0.6 in the older one.

Thanks to its strong lead-in, James Corden‘s “Late Late Show” topped Seth Meyers‘ “Late Night” across all metrics.

Of course, the start of a new era doesn’t encourage the same event-style viewing as the end of a classic one.

Colbert’s debut was down 55 percent in 18-49 and 52 percent in total viewers versus Letterman’s May 20th series finale (3.06 rating and 13.76 million total viewers.)

And versus Fallon’s start, Colbert’s numbers seem a bit more down-to-earth.

Last night’s “Late Show” was down 63 percent in 18-49 and minus 42 percent in total viewers versus the debut of the new “Tonight Show.” However, Fallon had the benefit of a strong Winter Olympics lead-in.