For the first time since Donald Trump’s inauguration, Jimmy Fallon has tipped the scales on Stephen Colbert. On the week of June 19-23, Fallon brought in 2.66 million viewers, while Colbert took 2.62 million, Variety reports. While Colbert has taken the lead in overall viewers over the past five months, Fallon has held on to the coveted 18-49 demographic.
The 18-49 demographic is the go-to moneymaker for advertisers, and Fallon has held a 33 percent lead in that age group.
As Colbert has thrown daggers with his political humor, Fallon has struggled to keep up and has been experimenting with edgier monologues in the past few months. Both shows have brought on top-notch guests, but Colbert has capitalized by bringing on politically appealing figures that play to his audience. In February, he hosted Joe Scarborough and former White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest. In March, Anderson Cooper made an appearance; and in April, the hosts of “Pod Save America,” a widely-popular podcast targeted at a young, liberal audience, were on “The Late Show.”
The Hollywood Reporter noted that Fallon’s lead may be short-lived, as Colbert gets significant returns on late views — meaning that a large chunk of his viewers stream the show after it’s filmed, and those numbers don’t immediately factor in to the ratings. But the battle for the late night slot remains neck-and-neck, with Colbert seeing his first victories since replacing David Letterman as the host of the iconic show.