Advanced Television

Late night viewers more loyal to hosts than shows

November 25, 2015

lenoTiVo has published the results from its analysis of more than 156,000 late-night show viewers, revealing that 74 per cent of viewers have followed their favourite host to that host’s new late-night show instead of continuing to watch their previous favourite show.

With iconic hosts, including Jay Leno and David Letterman, leaving the late-night scene and new players, including Trevor Noah, James Corden, and Seth Meyers, joining the late-night line-up, the company’s first comprehensive three-year, time-based analysis explored late-night viewing to define the new behaviour of viewers. The findings, which focused on three networks (NBC, CBS and Comedy Central) with the most amount of late-night host transition, revealed that a majority of late-night viewers watch based on the host of the show and not the show itself.

By The Numbers

Late-night show hosts have shifted dramatically in the last two years, leaving a drastically different viewer landscape. The TiVo Data Science team conducted two different analyses. First, the team looked at viewing behaviour of 156,000 late-night show viewers, identified which viewers were fans of which hosts, and analysed which new late-night shows they became fans of after the viewers’ favourite hosts left. Then, TiVo clustered the 156,000 late-night show viewers based on these viewership patterns and classified each of them into the following late-night viewer types:

  • Jay Leno Loyalists – 37 per cent – Those whose only favourite host is Jay Leno and whose viewership ceased after he left The Tonight Show.
  • Band-Wagon Viewers – 26 per cent – Those who switched to the shows with the greatest increase in viewership after their favourite hosts left.
  • Stephen Colbert Loyalists – 19 per cent – Those whose favourite hosts are Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart, but who stopped watching The Daily Show after Jon Stewart left.
  • Jimmy Fallon Loyalists – 18 per cent – Those whose favourite hosts are Jay Leno and Jimmy Fallon, but who also started watching Late Night with Seth Meyers.


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