In with the new: Stephen Colbert brings younger fans, larger audiences to CBS

stephen colbert brings younger fans to cbs fist pump
Many of the eyes watching Stephen Colbert’s new version of The Late Show are less weary than those that watched his predecessor — and there’s more of them, too.

According to Nielsen statistics released Thursday, after just his first two weeks in the new chair, Colbert eked out a victory in the ratings, charting slightly higher than Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show in the sought-after segment of adults 18-34. In doing so, Colbert created an incredible 60 percent rise in viewers from this key demographic.

The show still comes in at number two in overall viewership, with an average of 3.2 million compared to Jimmy Fallon’s 3.7 million. That said, in the first two weeks of their respective new seasons, The Tonight Show’s average audience shrank 6 percent compared to this time last year, whereas the The Late Show’s audience increased by 18 percent.

In fact, Late Night with Stephen Colbert is the only show in its time slot to show gains all year.

The rise in younger viewers in particular is something higher ups at CBS have to be ecstatic about, given that the network has the highest median viewer age of any of the majors, at 59.9 years.

Late night TV has long been a middle-aged viewer’s market. Even the average viewer for Trevor Noah’s new Daily Show comes in at 46 — several years younger than it was when Jon Stewart stepped down as host, but still not the youthful viewership one might expect for a series with such an irreverent brand of humor.

The number of younger viewers now tuning to CBS for Colbert’s show isn’t all that surprising, however. When Colbert hosted the Colbert Report on Comedy Central, he enjoyed the lowest average viewer age on late night TV, and fans were expected to follow him to his new late night gig.

CBS has been aiming to lower its average viewer’s age for some time, and clearly hired Colbert with that goal in mind, swapping the late night host with the highest average viewer age, David Letterman, for the one with the lowest. And it appears Colbert has delivered, as well as helping the aging show trade on the necessary allotment of viral videos via YouTube and social media channels that keeps today’s decidedly younger late show hosts relevant, as more and more viewers exchange traditional TV for the rushing streams of online video.

Time will tell whether Colbert’s gains will hold steady in the long term, but so far, the new host seems to be working out as well as — or even better than — expected.

Music

Spotify may eventually allow free users to skip all ads

Spotify is rolling out a new feature that may allow free users to skip ads whenever they want. Currently, the test is being conducted in Australia but if successful, it may be spread to other countries.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix in August, from ‘Arrested Development’ to ‘Dark Tourist’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in August 2018, from ‘Blue Valentine’ to ‘Jurassic Park’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, subdued humor, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

Amazon Prime brings more perks than just free two-day shipping. Subscribers get access to a huge library of TV shows to stream at no extra cost. Here are our favorite TV shows currently available on Amazon Prime.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Cars

How to watch Formula 1 online

There are plenty of Formula 1 races every year, many of which take place in some of the most beautiful cities in the world. Check out our brief guide on how to watch Formula 1 online, if you're looking to keep up on the action.
Home Theater

What’s new on Amazon Prime Video (September 2018)

Amazon Prime Video adds new titles each month that are available for free to all Prime members. Check out our list to find all the content hitting Amazon Prime Video in August and September 2018, from new comedies to terrifying horror…
Movies & TV

How to watch NFL games online, with or without cable

The NFL's 2018 season is here, and we know you don't want to miss a moment of the action. Our comprehensive streaming guide will show you all the best options to watch the games online so you can make the right choice for you.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Home Theater

What’s new on Hulu and what’s leaving in September 2018

Our complete list of what's new on Hulu for September 2018, our personal favorites, and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on all the site has to offer, and also ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming…
Movies & TV

'Star Wars: Resistance' TV series gets a trailer and premiere date

Disney has sky-high expectations for its Star Wars universe, with plenty of plans for the franchise on the big screen and television over the next few years. Here are all the upcoming movies and TV shows, both rumored and confirmed.
Podcasts

The MoviePass dumpster fire, Star Trek's new Spock, robot actor

This week, we'll talk about the epic dumpster fire that is MoviePass, Crazy Rich Asians hits theaters, two Captain Kirks take a hike, and the American History X director hopes to cast a robot in his next film. All this and more, so tune in!
Movies & TV

Out of TV shows to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Movies & TV

You can ditch cable but still get your 'SportsCenter' fix with ESPN+

ESPN's streaming service, ESPN+, is finally here. Despite appearances, ESPN+ isn't a replacement for your ESPN cable channels, and differs from other streaming apps in a few key ways.