America to Not Watch Colbert, Just Like It’s Not Watching Letterman

david-letterman

With all the publicity that Letterman’s retirement is getting, you would think that anyone was still watching the Late Show with David Letterman.

And you would be wrong.

By 2011, Nightline was beating both Letterman and Leno among young viewers.

“Nightline,” which had 1.248 million viewers in the 18-to-49 group (to 1.049 million for Mr. Letterman and 1.065 million for Mr. Leno)

Yes, that’s how bad it was.

The media is crowing about how much Letterman’s ratings have increased after the announcement that he would retire. (They were supposed to increase when Leno retired, instead he got beaten solidly by Jimmy Fallon.)

And the resulting surge of viewers was in and that meant that…

Letterman was solidly in second place in total viewers with 3.148M

Yes, that period is in the right place. Fallon meanwhile had 3.8 million viewers. Meanwhile Nightline beat Seth Meyers among young viewers.

It’s obvious why CBS dragged in Colbert. They couldn’t get Stewart and they have the top late night talk shows among the young viewer demo. This would be more impressive if they had any actual competition.

All it really means is that Colbert had about 1 million viewers in that demo. How many of them are going to follow him to CBS? Probably not as many as CBS thinks.

Colbert is a one-trick sneering pony catering to a limited audience. He can’t do his old routine in prime time which dispenses the interest that audience has in feeling superior by watching him.

And it doesn’t matter.

The late night talk show is done. It enjoys a niche following on cable, but in network form, it’s over. It’s just a matter of when the plug gets pulled.

  • JDinSTL

    Colbert sucks. He’s a smarmy cretin, just like his predecessor.

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      Jon Stewart sucks too. He operates in an echo chamber of morons laughing at morons.

  • truebearing

    I never watch him, but now I will. I want to watch him compensate for his complete lack of talent.

  • http://www.clarespark.com/ Clare Spark

    Colbert is a fine actor. If you watch Law and Order reruns, watch him play a forger and momma’s boy. Outstanding. But as an intellectual, I don’t see him as appealing to the young folks’s well-known sense of justice. See http://clarespark.com/2010/09/29/stephen-colbert-goes-to-washington/. “Stephen Colbert doesn’t see Labor.” Shouldn’t conservatives worry about worker health and safety, rather than yielding the field to “liberals” and reds?

    • objectivefactsmatter

      I saw that episode too but forgot about him. Good call. Great character actors are easy to forget some times.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      “Shouldn’t conservatives worry about worker health and safety, rather than yielding the field to “liberals” and reds?”

      I think many do. But it’s harder to exploit that concern politically without seeming to reduce workers down to some kind of victims.

      I think what conservatives should do is help form worker unions that are not focused on zero sum negotiations. Unions that are true workers collectives looking for synergistic (value added) solutions and negotiations rather than forcing society towards communism.

      And we need to tell the stories better about how conservatives and their business do employ non-coercive socialism by offering stock options and the like. We should encourage more “worker investment” where they are employed so that they have a stake in the successes and failures. That is the conservative alternative to leftist ideas about how to help workers.

      • trickyblain

        OFM, this post is way to the left of anything that I — an FPM “liberal” pariah — would ever think plausible.

        Big Biz don’t like unions. Period. If a conservative forms a “worker union” that conservative is instantly vilified as a Communist by Greenfield in his blog.

        And those stock option offering companies? Well, a lot of these are tech companies. Facebook, Apple, Microsoft… not really known for their Rightist leanings. So wouldn’t it be hard to use them as an example of conservative values?

        What kind of stock options do you think the DH Freedom Center offers their Schillman Fellows?*

        *None

        • objectivefactsmatter

          “OFM, this post is way to the left of anything that I — an FPM “liberal” pariah — would ever think plausible.”

          I totally understand your ignorance. You assume that everything must be accomplished through coercion and government interventions. I don’t need politics to put together sensible compensation packages. So you think if I advocate against government intervention that I’m against the poor “working class.”

          “Big Biz don’t like unions. Period. If a conservative forms a “worker union” that conservative is instantly vilified as a Communist by Greenfield in his blog.”

          Because of how they have been used historically. It’s not the principal of having workers organize that is the problem, it’s the real world history of who ends up getting involved.

          Let me sketch something out for you. Let’s say I have X number of nonunion employees who all have vested interests in the successes of the organization. I also have Y number of union members. If those union members use their combined skills and knowledge to bring value added suggestions, why would I ignore that? Then I have X + Y personnel looking after the success of the company as they are working. I’d be stupid not to cultivate such a relationship.

          • trickyblain

            Let’s ignore defensive/reactively insulting paragraph one (very easy to tell your opponent what he believes or assumes, but it’s hardly ever true. A lazy tactic.) and go to two.

            If workers are organizing, there is a reason. They have a common grievance. That grievance is exclusively against the employer. Employers look to conservatives to protect them against such. So how can a conservative “worker union” work?

            The next paragraph is utopist. It assumes that all company owners are wise and philosophically bask on what is right for their employees and how skills and institutional knowledge are contributing to the owner’s fabulous fortune. While I hope this is the case for many companies, reality tells a different story.

            Entitlement swings both ways.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “If workers are organizing, there is a reason. They have a common grievance. That grievance is exclusively against the employer. Employers look to conservatives to protect them against such.”

            That’s often the ideal. That doesn’t make it ideal for conservatives or “victims.”

            “So how can a conservative “worker union” work?”

            I already told you, But ensuring that the employees that organize still have a stake in the success of the company rather than a stake in the union scoring against company profits. IOW it suits “conservatives” and workers to have compensation incentives that correctly reward worker value.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “The next paragraph is utopist. It assumes that all company owners are wise and philosophically bask on what is right for their employees and how skills and institutional knowledge are contributing to the owner’s fabulous fortune. While I hope this is the case for many companies, reality tells a different story.”

            It’s not Utopian because progress is achieved in increments as people freely adopt those ideals. It would be Utopian to think that the government could force people to organize that way when they don’t believe in it.

            I’ll give you some examples later when I have a little more time.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “Entitlement swings both ways.”

            Entitlement to what?

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “While I hope this is the case for many companies, reality tells a different story.”

            And therefore what? You validated the first paragraph that you objected to. If you are concerned about it, why lobby the government for solutions? How am I leaping to conclusions here?

            Have you not admitted today that the solutions already exist and that it is only ignorance standing in the way?

        • objectivefactsmatter

          “Big Biz don’t like unions. Period. If a conservative forms a “worker union” that conservative is instantly vilified as a Communist by Greenfield in his blog.”

          Not all unions are parasitic. Most are.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          “And those stock option offering companies? Well, a lot of these are tech companies. Facebook, Apple, Microsoft… not really known for their Rightist leanings. So wouldn’t it be hard to use them as an example of conservative values?”

          You’ve simply decided that “left and right” are discrete and can be applied anywhere to anything. Conservative business owners want everyone to have a stake in the successes of their organizations. Period. The surest way to ensure that doesn’t happen is to allow the typical union parasites to organize your workers not for success but against the business owners.

          The issues develop differently in the political spaces than they do in the private sector. But because of mass communication technologies getting ubiquitous and almost free…things get even more confusing and people don’t know how to analyze accurate what’s going on.

          But for the most part no business really has a political agenda as a driving factor. At the most they have visible “tells” that are easy to misread as indications of leaning right or left. Mostly that’s about branding rather than ideology of the owners. It’s rare for ideology to come to the fore in ways that are easy to read clearly from outside the boardroom.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          “What kind of stock options do you think the DH Freedom Center offers their Schillman Fellows?”

          I wasn’t aware there were any stock or profits to share.

          Read this:

          http://www.drgnyc.Com/tips/incentive.html

          The private sector is not as “unfair” as people seem to think. The pols just love to take credit for every little thing they can possibly manage to get away with. A lot of their interventions hurt more than do good. When a problem comes up, just claim it was the fault of those who blocked the really good government solution. Always make government bigger.

          If you truly want “win-win” outcomes from the government interventions, focus on education reforms. Help people build valuable skills. Then everyone wins. Most Americans used to understand that very well.

  • Hard Little Machine

    I suspect most people don’t realize his act is an act.

  • 1keith1

    I don’t have TV. I’ve been watching Fallon and Leno online. I like Jimmy Fallon much better than I thought I would, and I’m not young. I also watch Jon Stewart.

  • SCREW SOCIALISM

    The absolute worst is Craig Fergusson and his stupid scottish accent and the talking skeleton.

    Letterman was GREAT when he was at NBC – but since he got to CBS he became too left of center.

    And Len was GREAT when he was a guest on Letterman back in the 80′s.

    Check this out.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Fec-l5qXxw

    Carson used to lampoon both the Democrats and the Republicans. Letterman just bashes Republicans – so he lost me on most nights – and enough of Regis Philbin (good guy Regis but how about OTHER people to fill in when some guest backs out???).

  • SCREW SOCIALISM

    Adam Carolla should be tapped to replace Letterman.

  • Tyche

    I watched Colbert on Letterman this week, and he was stiff and scared, imo. And not very funny. Dave was leaning over backwards for him, serving up softballs, but it wasn’t helping.

    I don’t think he’s ever done stand-up which seems to prepare a small sub-set of comedians to go with the flow, having had to adjust to hecklers or a slow crowd or whatever. I think we’re losing the best show the left had to further its causes and gaining another late-night disaster. We’ll be left with Jon Stewart, better than nothing but he’s stale and the skits often bomb.

    I know Craig’s not everybody’s cup of tea but I like Ferguson and wish he’d gotten to at least try the slot – he’s a great interviewer and can do a masterful if quirky monologue. I hope they keep him around after Colbert starts on the Late Show, at least a few months, just in case. But you’re probably right, this format is doomed just like the old “variety hour” with Carol Burnett or Smothers Brothers or whoever.

  • mickrrussom

    Colbert is a boot licking card carrying communist loser. Craig Ferguson is 10000% more funny. Im done with CBS. Welcome to the world of .torrent, loser TV stations.