TV Ratings: Stephen Colbert's winning streak hits 7 weeks


Stephen Colbert continues to improve his late-night audience.

For the seventh consecutive week, CBS' Late Show host topped the typical victor (NBC's Tonight) among total viewers. Colbert's average 3.2 million viewers bested Fallon's Tonight haul of 3.1 million viewers. Thanks to interruptions from March Madness, Colbert aired repeats Thursday and Friday, but even with just the three-night average his advantages could not be overcome.

It's a real coup for the CBS host, who's enjoying his best ratings since his 2015 launch thanks to relentless coverage of the Donald Trump administration. Last week saw Colbert poking fun at Rachel Maddow and her drawn-out delivery of select tax returns from the new U.S. president.

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NEW YORK - OCTOBER 15: Oprah Winfrey on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015 on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by John Paul Filo/CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - OCTOBER 12: Elvis Costello talks about his new book 'Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink' on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Monday Oct. 12, 2015 on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - OCTOBER 8: Stephen plays his didgeridoo for actress Cate Blanchett on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Thursday Oct. 8, 2015 on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - OCTOBER 5: Cellist Yo-Yo Ma plays with Jon Batiste and Stay Human on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Monday Oct. 5, 2015 on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 29: Actor Jesse Eisenberg on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Monday Sept. 29, 2015 on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 8: Republican Presidential candidate Jeb Bush chats with Stephen on the premiere of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Tuesday Sept. 8, 2015 on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 25: Nobel Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Friday, Sept. 25, 2015 on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Heather Wines/CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 18: The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Friday, Sept. 18, 2015 on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by John Paul Filo/CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 28: John Legend sings a duet with Stephen and accompanied by Jon Batiste on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Monday Sept. 28, 2015 on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 28: First Lady Michelle Obama on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Monday Sept. 28, 2015 on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by John Paul Filo/CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 22: Donald Trump talks about his US Presidential campaign on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Tuesday Sept. 22, 2015 on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS via Getty Images)
Apple CEO Tim Cook on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Tuesday Sept. 15, 2015 on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 8: Stephen Colbert during the premiere episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Tuesday Sept. 8, 2015 on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 8: Stephen Colbert and Jon Batiste during the premiere episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Tuesday Sept. 8, 2015 on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 8: Actor George Clooney chats with Stephen on the premiere of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Tuesday Sept. 8, 2015 on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 8: Jon Batiste performs on the premiere of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Tuesday Sept. 8, 2015 on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 08: A general view of the Ed Sullivan Theater exterior at the first 'The Late Show With Stephen Colbert' taping on September 8, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 08: Atmosphere at the first taping of 'The Late Show With Stephen Colbert' on September 8, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)
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One place Colbert cannot catch Fallon, however, is among adults 18-49. Late-night's favored demo continues to flock to Tonight. This past week, Fallon enjoyed a 39 percent lead over Colbert with an average 0.75 rating in the key demo. (Colbert, in turn, averaged a 0.54 rating.)

Given the shared nature of these wins, Colbert might be best compared to himself. It's also where his numbers are most impressive. Compared to the same week a year ago, The Late Show audience is up 24 percent.


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