2:45pm PT by Michael O'Connell
'Colbert Report' Sets Series High Ratings With Finale
Stephen Colbert's Comedy Central swan song naturally goosed viewership — so much so that it topped all previous episodes. According to Nielsen Media, a series high 2.5 million viewers tuned in to watch the final installment of The Colbert Report.
That's more than double Colbert's audience last Thursday, when the host was already seeing some pre-farewell boosts and brought in 1.2 million viewers.
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Thursday's half-hour affair, which featured a slew of famous cameos, was also cable's highest-rated non-football related broadcast of the night among adults 18-49 — averaging a 1.0 rating.
It's a bittersweet farewell for Comedy Central. Colbert was always dependable for his loyal, younger-skewing audience, though he's always been in second place to lead-in The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.
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Colbert's next gig, hosting CBS' Late Show, won't come until later next year. David Letterman is officially set to sign off in May before Colbert takes over the prime 11:35 p.m. broadcast roost in the second half of 2015.
The next step for Comedy Central isn't nearly as far off. The launch of The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore, a Daily Show alum himself, is just a month away. It premieres in Colbert's old 11:30 p.m. time slot on Jan. 19.