TV Ratings: Inauguration Week Offers Stephen Colbert a Healthy Boost

Stephen Colbert in character on Late Show - Publicity - H 2016
Scott Kowalchyk/CBS

President Barack Obama's final week in office, and the Friday swearing-in of Donald Trump, was a boon for Stephen Colbert.

The Late Show host spent four of the week's five nights at No. 1 among households in metered markets. That culminated in an especially strong Friday win for the CBS talent, with the post-inauguration episode drawing a 2.9 rating among households. That's the best rating Colbert has pulled in that metric since a fall 2015 visit from — guess who? — Donald Trump.

Wins over Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon are rare for anyone in the late-night space.

Fallon remained unchallenged among adults 18-49, late night's key demographic. But Colbert was much improved on Friday. His 0.6 rating in the demo marked his best showing in three months.

All of late night — and, really, the media — spent much of the week focusing on all of the political events. But Colbert, alongside NBC's Late Night host Seth Meyers, remains the most politically focused of the primary three hosts.