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How Colbert Is Going After The Tonight Show Next

Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert

Everything's been coming up Colbert lately. After years as the underdog, Stephen Colbert's Late Show has been coming out on top in the numbers for the last seven weeks straight, beating out the juggernaut that is The Tonight Show. It goes without saying that Colbert must be riding pretty high right about now but he doesn't want to stop here. Though Colbert's winning in viewership, he wants to take a key area that Jimmy Fallon still owns -- one which holds the fate of every late night program: young people.

According to Page Six, Stephen Colbert wants to keep his momentum going in the wake of his seven-week victory and try to claim the 18-49 demographic. The Late Show is currently the most watched late night program but those numbers are apparently not coming from the 18-49 demographic -- the key area for advertisers when picking where and when to buy ad time. Young people are still mostly flocking to The Tonight Show, where Jimmy Fallon holds a comfortable margin. (It seems many young people still prefer celebrities playing charades to watching someone make fun of the news.) Sources have told Page Six that Colbert wants to take this key demographic for himself -- so much so, in fact, that he brought back his old Colbert Report character for a recent segment.

On the other side of the tracks, The Tonight Show is apparently not sweating their ratings drop. It's not hard to draw a conclusion that the Trump presidency and Colbert's ability at political satire have been the chief factors in his ratings bump. Page Six sources claim that The Tonight Show is waiting for the Trump fatigue to set in and then they'll see if The Late Show can keep its streak going. They also note that Fallon was on vacation for one of the weeks... but they failed to account for what he was doing the other six.

Colbert isn't the only late-night personality to be thriving in the increasingly political landscape; Seth Meyers, John Oliver, Samantha Bee, and Trevor Noah are all riding the wave thanks to their more critical political coverage. Fallon has been struggling in this area and was heavily criticized last year for an interview with Trump that some deemed too soft, such as when he ruffled the then-presidential candidate's hair. Since then, Fallon has been tweaking his show to be more cutting, but this kind of satire is still new to the Tonight Show host and he has yet to find a groove.

Only time will tell if Colbert can keep this up. Fallon has always held the No. 1 spot by a wide margin, so it's nice to finally have a spark of real competition liven up late night TV. There's bound to be more developments, so stay tuned with CinemaBlend for all future information. Be sure to check out our summer TV premiere schedule as well.

Matt Wood

Matt has lived in New Jersey his entire life, but commutes every day to New York City. He graduated from Rowan University and loves Marvel, Nintendo, and going on long hikes and then greatly wishing he was back indoors. Matt has been covering the entertainment industry for over two years and will fight to his dying breath that Hulk and Black Widow make a good couple.