Colbert draws 6.6 million audience in ‘Late Show’ debut

September 10, 2015

As expected, Stephen Colbert gathered a large crowd for his “The Late Show” debut. He had an audience of 6.6 million people, and as expected, he failed to impress the critics.

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“The Late Show” was the most-watched late-night TV program on Tuesday (Sept 8), attracting more than double the 2.9 million audience for rival Jimmy Fallon’s “Tonight” show on NBC.

Colbert’s 6.6 million audience was small in comparison to Fallon’s February 2014 debut as host of the “Tonight” show, which was watched by some 11.3 million Americans.

Colbert had been off the air since December when “The Colbert Report” ended on cable channel Comedy Central. Although his return won generally favorable reviews, some critics were disappointed.

James Poniewozik at the New York Times called the first show “overstuffed and messy.”

Robert Bianco said in USA Today Colbert “seemed a bit over-caffeinated. But calm will almost certainly come with time.”

Variety’s Brian Lowry said “if the goal was to establish the CBS show as fun-loving (a silly bit with George Clooney) yet potentially topical (an interview with Jeb Bush), as another Bush family member might say, ‘Mission accomplished.'”


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