Stephen Colbert is not doing well in the ratings as the late night talk show host on CBS. The network has learned by now that putting Colbert in the big leagues, based on his cable television success at Comedy Central, was a huge mistake, according to a Washington Post report on Friday. Beyond the television ratings making this notion clear, so has a study that was done on late night talk show hosts which currently includes Colbert, Jimmy Fallon on NBC and Jimmy Kimmel on ABC.
Since it was first announced that Colbert would be taking David Letterman’s place on “The Late Show,” it was made clear via CBS’ promotion of the new show that Colbert would now be himself rather than his fictitious character. On Comedy Central, he played the role of a conservative who was actually spoofing and mocking conservatives. As himself, his true colors have been shining through and he is quite the liberal. While Fallon and Kimmel continue to walk the fine line between offending liberals some of the time and conservatives at other times, Colbert has been quite focused on ticking off conservatives. The favoring of liberals is not only apparent in what he has been saying during his first couple of months in the late night host’s chair on CBS, but it is extremely apparent in his manner of interviewing guests from the right side of the political aisle.
Though conservatives gave him a chance, hoping he might be entertaining with a right-slanted angle as he was on cable, they have quickly found that he is not entertaining them, says Newsmax on Monday. Instead, they apparently feel he is blatantly taking the left’s stands and ridiculing the right. To that, they have tuned out of his show in droves, since the honeymoon ended well over a month ago. Through it all, Fallon remains in a strong first place in the ratings race while Kimmel, who had no success in defeating Letterman in the past, now takes a strong second place. Colbert has dragged CBS down to third place with no apparent sign of doing much better.
Beyond the ratings, the Hollywood Reporter has reported on a study that was done regarding the current three talk show hosts. Penn Schoen Berland, a polling company, evaluated the current late night talk show scene. It is apparent that Colbert’s left-loving politics is what is killing CBS in the late night rating’s race. The Penn Schoen Berland study involved 1,000 persons aged 18 to 65. Ideally, a talk show host would attract about the same number of liberals as conservatives which would indicate an even balance of any political humor or other types of political content inserted in the show.
Both Fallon and Kimmel are doing a great job of keeping the balance by having basically the same number of liberals and conservatives tuning in for their programs. It is apparent that compared to Colbert, both of them have little political content in their shows. That is probably the best route to go in order to keep both conservatives and liberals tuned in. Equally offend – or better yet, offend neither. Unfortunately, Colbert only attracts 17 percent of Republican viewers while attracting 47 percent of Democratic viewers. While he has a decent host’s share of liberals, he doesn’t have the needed viewership of conservatives. He lost them soon after he took over for Letterman. CBS is in a spot because a Colbert show without politics probably what liberals want, so the network needs to keep Colbert’s political content – until his contract ends, anyway. And to think they could have had Craig Ferguson – or anyone else for that matter. Can’t help but wonder of Letterman is bored enough to come out of retirement yet. Probably not.