NEW YORK » Stephen Colbert crushed it with his viewership as the new host of "The Late Show."
Premiering Tuesday, Colbert averaged 6.6 million viewers as CBS’ successor to David Letterman, doubling the "Late Show" audience a year ago, the Nielsen ratings company reported.
With guests Jeb Bush and George Clooney, "The Late Show" clobbered the usual winner, NBC’s "Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," which drew slightly less than 3 million viewers, as well as ABC’s "Jimmy Kimmel Live," seen by 1.75 million.
CBS’ rising tide also lifted "The Late Late Show With James Corden" to a victory over its NBC rival, "Late Night With Seth Meyers." Corden delivered 1.85 million viewers to Meyers’ 1.3 million.
Colbert’s highly publicized debut followed his exit last December as host of Comedy Central’s "The Colbert Report."