The numbers are in, and the message is evident: It pays to bash President Trump on late-night TV.
“The Late Present with Stephen Colbert” has scored its second straight year of dominance over “The Tonight Present Starring Jimmy Fallon,” in accordance with Nielsen Scores — and consultants say it’s as a result of viewers are each bit as obsessive about Trump as Colbert.
A median of three.75 million viewers tuned in to Colbert’s “Late Present” on CBS through the 2017-18 TV year, which formally ended on Sunday, in accordance with Nielsen Scores. That’s 46 p.c greater than the two.57 million nightly viewers Fallon averaged on NBC.
Fallon — who has been faulted by Colbert followers for his softball interviews and monologues that sidestep the day by day Trump information cycle — remains to be on high in terms of the 18-to-49 age group that’s coveted by advertisers.
Nonetheless, his lead appears to be like slim, with a mean annual ranking of 0.61 versus Colbert’s 0.57 for the most recent 12 months, in accordance with Nielsen. ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Stay” logged a 0.45 ranking for the year. (A full scores level represents 1 p.c of US households.)
Whereas Colbert’s scores didn’t begin to soar in earnest till Trump’s inauguration, analysts observe that Fallon’s had begun to falter months earlier in September 2016, when he famously mussed the orange coif of the then-GOP presidential nominee.
Since then, “Tonight Present’s” share of the 11:35 p.m.-12:35 a.m. ET late-night viewers has plunged to 29 p.c from 42 p.c, in accordance with quarterly averages offered by Nielsen. Over the identical interval, Colbert’s “Late Present” share has soared to 45 p.c from 33 p.c.
On one hand, critics blame Fallon for squandering one of many richest sources for satirists that American politics has ever produced. Selection TV critic Sonia Saraiya blasted Fallon for missing a “standpoint” with a collection of softball questions for Trump (“Why ought to [kids] need to develop up and be president?”) forward of the hair-mussing.
However consultants observe that it wasn’t till Trump’s January 2017 inauguration that Colbert’s scores started to shift into excessive gear. Colbert himself obtained flak lower than three months later, when he accused Trump of being a “c–okay holster” for Vladimir Putin.
Nonetheless, Colbert’s scores continued to climb. True, the common Colbert viewer is 61 years previous, versus 56 for the Fallon viewers. But when Fallon’s viral movies of movie star karaoke contests are nonetheless a lure for youthful viewers, Colbert has an edge amongst many faculty viewers, in accordance with Eugene Secunda, a professor of media research at NYU.
“Colbert was faster to choose up on individuals’s curiosity in Trump’s thug-like means of doing enterprise,” Secunda instructed The Put up. “My college students are concurrently fascinated and disgusted to see how he behaves and the way he operates in the White Home.”
Fallon, in the meantime, nonetheless suffers from the notion he’s a Trump suck-up. He lamented as a lot in June, telling The Hollywood Reporter he was not attempting “normalize” Trump by mussing his hair.
5 days later, Trump in a tweet accused Fallon of “whimpering” and suggested him, “Be a man Jimmy!”