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Stephen Colbert's rise in WNY includes key demographic win in May sweeps

For all the rating success "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" has had while the host has repeatedly bashed President Trump before and after Trump was elected, there has always been an asterisk.

"The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" still had been winning in the demographics that are important to advertisers.

The asterisk is no longer necessary in Western New York.

During the just-concluded May sweeps, Colbert's program had a 3.5 household rating on WIVB-TV, the local CBS affiliate, to a 2.6 rating for Fallon's program on WGRZ-TV, the local NBC affiliate. That reverses the results a year ago when Fallon won here, 3.2-2.4.

More interestingly, Colbert's program had a better rating than Fallon in Buffalo in the age 18-49 demographic more important to national advertisers, tied Fallon the age 25-54 demographic more important to local advertisers and handily defeated Fallon in the age 35-64 demographic that Channel 4 claims has the most money to spend.

Fallon's program dominated all those categories a year ago by about a 2-1 margin.

Nationally, Colbert's program won the TV season for the first time in 22 years that the programs had a season-long host. The national demographics haven't arrived. Colbert won nationally in total viewers during the February sweeps, but with the asterisk since Fallon won in the 18-49 demographic.

Colbert's success here has given "The Late, Late Show with James Corden" such a great lead-in that it has a higher rating than "Jimmy Kimmel Live" – which airs an hour earlier on WKBW-TV, the local ABC affiliate – in household ratings and the three demographics above. Kimmel was ahead a year ago in all those categories.


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