The program that follows the Super Bowl usually gets high ratings. Usually the post-Super Bowl show will be a drama or a sitcom. In rare instances, a network will use the audience for established shows like “60 Minutes” or a reality show. Some of the programs that have benefited from the post-Super Bowl timeslot have been “The A Team,” “Survivor,” “The Wonder Years,” “Friends,” “The X Files,” “Alias,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Elementary,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and last year, “The Blacklist.”
This year, CBS has tapped Stephen Colbert to host a live post-Super Bowl edition of The Late Show. It’s the first time a late night show has been scheduled directly after the Big Game. In 2003, ABC premiered “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” but that was after “Alias” and the late local news and it didn’t air until 12:35 a.m. ET.
In this case, Colbert will get the benefit of the huge audience and a big lead-in from television’s biggest audience of the year. And CBS will also air a post-Super Bowl edition of the Late Late Show With James Corden after Colbert and the late local news.
And while Colbert’s show debuted in September to huge fanfare, it still trails NBC’s Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon both in total viewers and the coveted 18-49 demographic. By exposing Late Show With Stephen Colbert to a fresh set of eyes, CBS hopes the sampling by an expected 20 million plus viewers will cause them to stay with it for the long-term.
The New York Times says the late night wars with the two Jimmys vs. Stephen has settled into an NBC procession in the timeslot:
So far this season, Jimmy Fallon is averaging 3.8 million viewers a night, compared to Mr. Colbert’s 3.3 million and Jimmy Kimmel’s 2.5 million viewers.
Last year, “The Blacklist” on NBC drew an average 25 million viewers so CBS is hoping that similar numbers will provide Colbert with momentum for the rest of the season.