When Stephen Colbert took on The Late Show, there were countless reports about how he would drop his Comedy Central persona and leave liberal politics out of it.
Anyone who has been watching the show knows that didn’t happen. Colbert is as sanctimonious, snarky, and outwardly liberal as he ever was when he made fun of Republicans by pretending to be one.
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The bad news for Mr. Colbert is in his ratings.
Joe Concha reports at Mediaite:
Colbert Drops to 3rd Place Behind Kimmel as New Poll Shows CBS Host Alienating Audiences
For Stephen Colbert, the late-night honeymoon appears to be over.
The dose of reality comes upon tracking the last three weeks available on the ratings front. But first, a quick review of where we were and how we got here on the late-night competition front: outside of Colbert’s opening week, NBC’s Jimmy Fallon and The Tonight Show have beaten his CBS competition every week with plenty of room to spare. No surprise there, as even CBS execs concede they had no illusions of beating Fallon as Colbert and The Late Show find their groove. But that’s not to say Colbert has disappointed anyone at the Tiffany Network, either, finishing a solid second ahead of ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel in both total viewers and the demo in September and much of October…
Consequently, according to a Hollywood Reporter poll just released, Colbert has successfully alienated self-described Republicans who see what’s being offered on a nightly basis and exploring or staying with other options. And with the country as polarized as it is, the host is thereby saying goodbye to half his potential audience, which can’t be a sound business model.
Per The Hollywood Reporter‘s survey of 1000 late-night viewers aged 18-65, only 17 percent of those identified themselves as Republican watch Colbert, while attracting 47 percent of those who identify as Democrats, a 30-point gap. But more liberals watch late-night TV than stuffy, old conservatives, right? Guess again. In Kimmel’s case, the split is 34 percent Democrats, 33 percent Republicans. In Fallon’s case, it’s 36-31 Democrats.
Why so even-keeled? Because Kimmel and Fallon go through great lengths to be apolitical…
Stephen Colbert now drops to third place: a result about as predictable as whom and what his political targets will be during each night.
Note to future TV hosts: Alienating half of the country is a bad business model.