Late-Night Broadcast TV Shows Sink 14% In Viewers YOY

Late-night talk programs on broadcast networks this season -- due to the COVID-19 pandemic -- have seen steepening Nielsen-measured viewer declines, down 7% to 25% versus a year ago, depending on the show.

Overall, the three networks' total average viewers sank 14%, from 7.52 million in season-to-date Nielsen-measured ratings to 6.48 million, for the period from September 21, 2020 to January 15, 2021.

CBS’ "Late Show With Stephen Colbert" continues to maintain its top late-night position, averaging 3.16 million viewers -- down 11% from a year ago. ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” slipped 7% to 1.8 million -- now ascending into second place. NBC’s "Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon" fell 25% lower to 1.5 million.

This year’s declines deepened versus those of the previous season, the TV 2019-2020 year: the “Late Show” dipped 4% (versus the previous TV 2018- 2019 season), while the "Tonight Show” was down 20% and “Kimmel” lost 6%.

The “Late Show” was also tops in both the 25-54 and 18-49 demos this season so far, averaging Nielsen-measured ratings of 0.5 and 0.4, respectively.

Late-night talk TV has eschewed much of the live, on-set entertainment interviews and music since the pandemic took hold in March 2020.



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