Late night talk shows are always good for drama — which is why they’ve inspired so many books and movies — and this new chapter in vs. war is getting juicy.
You might’ve seen the TV ratings for the 2018-2019 season just came out, showing as the winner in both overall viewers and in the 18-49 demo. That’s the first time has averaged at the top of the 18-49 ratings in 25 years, since David Letterman hosted the show during the Clinton era.
is apparently feeling the heat at this loss. is usually king of late night, and Fallon had been at least holding on to the demo win year-to-year. Not anymore. The ratings were close, it wasn’t a runaway, but CBS’ gets to take the win for all of last season, and that’s reportedly causing some friction behind-the-scenes at NBC’s .
According to Page Six, there’s some tension between ‘s new showrunner Jim Bell and Lorne Michaels, who spearheaded Jimmy Fallon’s rise from to and now . Bell came to with news credentials, reportedly to give the late night show some political news heft. That seems to be part of the tension, with Page Six being told “an anguished Bell” was “sniping” at Lorne Michaels for being “stuck in the past” when Bell thinks Fallon needs to reinvent himself to compete in the late night ratings.
Page Six also mentioned two other recent departures. Jimmy Fallon’s longtime producer Katie Hockmeyer, who had been with Fallon since he took on in 2009, left her job not long after her return from maternity leave. An NBC executive told Page Six she’s still an employee at the company, but it wasn’t clear what her role was anymore.
One of ‘s other showrunners, Mike DiCenzo, also quit just a few months ago, after working with Jimmy Fallon for a decade. He said he “just felt it was time.” Shortly after that announcement, Jim Bell took over .
Jim Bell has been the “executive in charge” for seven months now, but apparently there’s a hierarchy clash since Lorne Michaels is technically the senior executive producer.
As that battle behind-the-scenes plays out, Stephen Colbert appears to be the victor. Remember when he was struggling in his first year? After David Letterman retired from in 2015, Colbert had a rough start to his tenure. But look at him now.
finished the 2018-2019 season with an average of 3.82 million viewers a night for CBS, topping ‘s 2.44 million for NBC, and ‘s 2.04 million for ABC, per the NY Post.
According to TheWrap, ended the season with an average 18-49 rating of 0.52, just over ‘s 0.51 and ‘s 0.38.
All three network late night shows lost viewers this past year, but lost the fewest with a drop of just 2%. had a drop of 9% with at 10%.
NBC touted ‘s social media reach, noting that it’s the most popular late night show on YouTube. Those digital metrics may be of increasing importance moving forward, as the entire viewing landscape changes. Many viewers do just click on late night clips the next day, rather than watching entire episodes during their “live” (but not really live) timeslots.
‘Tis a busy time for networks as 2018-2019 shows reach their season finales, series either get cancelled or renewed, and we prepare for a fresh crop of summer shows. But since we’re talking late night, which of the main three network shows do you prefer?
Which Of The Big 3 Network Late Night Talks Shows Do You Prefer?
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