Stephen Colbert's 'Late Show' snags post-Super Bowl TV show spot

Colbert's CBS program will air after the Super Bowl next year. It's an unusual choice, with sitcoms or dramas more often coming on after the big game.

Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
Stephen Colbert participates in the 'The Late Show with Stephen Colbert' segment of the CBS Summer TCA Tour in 2015.

Forget Red of “The Blacklist” or Jess of “New Girl." 

Next year, millions of viewers will be spending their post-Super Bowl time with late-night host Stephen Colbert. CBS recently announced that Colbert’s program, “The Late Show,” will air following the game in February. 

According to CBS, this is the first time a late-night program will air directly after the game. Colbert debuted on the program just this fall. He previously served as host of the Comedy Central program “The Colbert Report” before taking over David Letterman’s hosting gig. 

James Corden, who hosts CBS’s “The Late Late Show,” will also air a show on Super Bowl night, according to the network – the local news will air first, then Corden’s episode will debut.

This isn’t the first time a late-night host has had a show air on Super Bowl night, but previous programs like ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” have been paired with other shows rather than debuting directly after the game. For example, "Kimmel" aired after the show "Alias." Last year, NBC selected its drama “The Blacklist” to air after the game, while Fox selected its sitcoms “New Girl” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” to go on the year before that. CBS’s Sherlock Holmes drama “Elementary” and NBC’s “The Voice” are a couple of the other recent programs to air after the game.

What would have led CBS to select Colbert for this spot? The novelty of having the late-night program air after the Super Bowl is certainly getting attention. Meanwhile, Colbert is doing well in the ratings compared to his predecessor Letterman, but Jimmy Fallon of NBC’s “The Tonight Show” is still number one. While Colbert’s ratings are good, particularly compared to what Letterman used to get for viewers ages 18-49, perhaps CBS is hoping to give Colbert an extra bit of visibility with this post-Super Bowl show. 

It’s interesting that CBS didn’t give this slot to drama “Supergirl.” The ratings for the superhero show have slid, so it wouldn’t have been surprising if the network decided to remind viewers “Supergirl” is on by putting it after the game. 

But instead, Super Bowl viewers will spend the rest of the evening with Colbert and Corden.

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