TV Ratings: Football-Delayed Jimmy Fallon Tops Stephen Colbert

'Tonight Show' rises, while Colbert's 'Late Show' recovers from second night slide with emotional interview with Joe Biden.

NBC's Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon topped The Late Show with Stephen Colbert among total viewers, with 4.3 million viewers compared to Colbert's 3.9 million.

Tonight, of course, got a big lead-in  — and a late start  — thanks to NBC's coverage of the NFL season-opener. And the show also outpaced Colbert and ABC's Jimmy Kimmel combined in the 18-49 demographic, averaging a 1.5 rating to Colbert's .82 and Kimmel's .49.

The good news for Colbert in the show's very early days is that it was up compared to Wednesday's broadcast (.77 rating with 3.6 million), which took an expected dip from the show's premiere on Tuesday.  

Colbert conducted an emotional interview with Joe Biden. It was the vice president's first TV interview since the death of his son Beau Biden more then three months ago to brain cancer.

"I never once, my word as a Biden, never ever heard my child complain," Biden said to Colbert. "I was a hell of a success. My son was better than me. He was better than me in every way."

When CBS announced that Biden would stop by Late Show, some observers predicted that the VP would use the appearance to announce that he would run for president. And Colbert invited Biden to address the "elephant in the room," or perhaps more appropriately the "donkey."  Asked, if he had "anything to tell" viewers, Biden quipped: "Yes. I think you should run for president again, and I'll be your vice president."

 

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