Late night shows care about one thing, ratings. This week a report has now surfaced via The New York Times focusing on the decline of Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show. According to the report, Fallon who once sat above competitors with 3.3M viewers in 2016 is now only seeing 2.6M people tuning in to his show. Fallon’s decline in total viewership has even placed Stephen Colbert & The Late Show in the top spot with 3.5M viewers. This latest discovery for many was a clear indication that Fallon’s decision to feature Trump on his talk show may have been a bad idea.
Ten months after Inauguration Day, the trend is holding: For late-night hosts, being sharply critical of President Trump is a winning strategy. And that is bad news for “The Tonight Show.” Stephen Colbert, who has made Mr. Trump a nightly target, assumed the top position in the ratings race in February and has only increased his lead since then. His program, “The Late Show” on CBS, has taken viewers away from Jimmy Fallon, the cheerful host of NBC’s storied franchise, who has lost 21 percent of his audience year over year since the fall season began on Sept. 25. At the same time, Jimmy Kimmel has made ratings gains in the 11:35 p.m. slot on ABC. Ever since Mr. Colbert leapfrogged Mr. Fallon in total viewers, NBC executives have emphasized that “The Tonight Show” is still the No. 1 choice of viewers in the 18-to-49-year-old group prized by advertisers.