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Colbert’s Late Show Beats Fallon’s Tonight Show in Ratings for the First Time Since Debut Week

NEW YORK - JANUARY 19: The Late Show with Stephen Colbert during Thursday's 01/19/16 show in New York. (Photo by Scott Kowalchyk/CBS via Getty Images)

Stephen Colbert came in hot during his first full week hosting the Late Show since Trump’s inauguration. The Late Show topped NBC’s Tonight Show in the Nielsen race for the first time since Colbert’s debut week in September 2015, according to the New York Times. Colbert beat the Jimmy Fallon-hosted show by 12,000 viewers in the five-day period ending in February 3. However, Fallon still holds a strong lead over Colbert in the prized under 50 demographic, earning a rating of 0.67 to Late Show‘s 0.48.

Of course, Donald Trump’s presidency is the probably reason behind Colbert’s boost. While Fallon resigned himself to being a fascist’s cuddle buddy, Colbert has remained critical of the president and his administration’s actions. NBC’s Trump-satirizing Saturday Night Live also received a bump; its reported 22 percent viewer increase has made this season’s start the show’s strongest in over 20 years. But Colbert’s slim victory ought be a relief for fans following rumors that CBS was thinking about replacing him with James Corden.