Ratings for Late Night Comedy Shows Plummet, as Political Commentary Increases

October 10, 2017 Updated: October 10, 2017    

Late night talk show giants like Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Myers, and Jimmy Kimmel started seeing their ratings drop dramatically this year, as they continued to inject political commentary into their shows.

The comedians all have one thing in common—their anti-Trump rhetoric, often promoting their personal political views to their audiences and making fun of President Donald Trump at a nonstop pace.

The late-night viewership of these comedians on ABC, CBS, and NBC last week barely made 8 million viewers combined, according to Deadline.com. The numbers have dropped quite a bit when compared to previous ratings.

As the Washington Examiner pointed out, in the past former NBC late-night host Jay Leno was bringing in 6 million viewers just on his own show.

NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” logged 2.54 million viewers during Premiere Week, and ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” garnered 2.3 million. On Friday, Colbert, with the help of Jerry Seinfeld logged 3.24 million viewers, according to deadline.com.

Jimmy Kimmel at Clayton Kershaw’s 5th Annual Ping Pong 4 Purpose Celebrity Tournament at Dodger Stadium on July 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Leon Bennett/Getty Images for Kershaw’s Challenge )

While technological developments have pushed many millennials to watch less television, the numbers still don’t add up.

The viewership of Sean Hannity, a host at Fox News and Rachel Maddow at MSNBC continue to bring in more viewers, even if they don’t tell as many jokes. According to Politico, Hannity averaged 3.5 million viewers in the last week of September, while Maddow got 2.65 million in the same time slot.

The drop in ratings is likely attributed to the late-night lineups political commentary, which seems to have alienated a large base of viewers who don’t want to be bombarded by politics.

The NFL is suffering from a similar problem as players continued to kneel during the national anthem, in what started as a protest against police brutality on minorities.

Viewership for the league has continued to drop in recent times. The ratings for “Sunday Night Football” declined on Oct. 8, according to a report.

Xavier Cooper No. 96 of the San Francisco 49ers and other members of the team kneel during the national anthem before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on Oct. 8, 2017, in Indianapolis, Ind. (Bobby Ellis/Getty Images)

This week NBC‘s “Sunday Night Football,” which showed the Kansas City Chiefs defeating the Houston Texans, saw a 3 percent decline compared to last week’s “Sunday Night Football” (SNF) game, which saw the Seattle Seahawks beat the Indianapolis Colts.

According to Deadline.com, the Oct. 8 game got a 10.6/18 in metered-market (MM) results. It’s the season low for the show.

“To add further context, last night’s injury-filled SNF was up just 4% in MM numbers from the comparable game of last year, when the New York Giants battled the Green Bay Packers,” said Deadline.

But, the Oct. 9, 2016, game was up against Donald Trump-Hillary Clinton town hall debate.

“Last week’s 8:30-11:45 PM ET SNF went on to snag a 5.8/21 among adults 18-49 and 16.73 million viewers, which was down from the week before. The Giants-Packers game last year eventually drew a 5.9/16 in the key demo and an audience of 16.62 million,” Deadline reported.

From NTD.tv

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