Boasting a regular viewership of more than 100 million viewers, the Super Bowl is an ideal launching platform for primetime TV. So who gets to capitalize on the coveted post-game slot can get a bit contentious. CBS saw fit to give their spot to a first-timer — Stephen Colbert, in his first season as the helmer of "The Late Show" — in a first for the late night genre. Never before had a late night series benefitted from such a lead-in directly, as other networks chose to first show a scripted series after the game and then follow that up with some late night entertainment.
So how did Colbert do? It depends on who you ask. "The Late Show" pulled in a solid 21.1 million viewers — which is just over what "Elementary" drew for CBS in its post-Super Bowl slot in 2013 — but some reviews were critical of the content itself. Nothing all that memorable came out of the episode, or, at least, nothing that wouldn’t seem like standard fare for a normal show, and Colbert himself wasn’t exactly front and center for a lot of the segments. His personality — to use some football lingo — was more of a "game manager" than a "playmaker."
Still, "The Late Show" pulled in more than three times as many viewers as its previous high, giving many Americans their first taste of Colbert behind Letterman’s old desk. Will it pay off? How will we tell? These are the questions that Indiewire TV Editor Liz Shannon Miller and TV Critic Ben Travers dig into on this week’s Very Good TV Podcast. In an era where late night TV is often consumed bright and early the next morning, when is the best time to watch? And how does when we watch affect our opinion of each host?
Don’t forget to subscribe to Very Good TV Podcast via Soundcloud or iTunes. Follow Indiewire on Twitter and Facebook for all your pertinent TV news — as well as the latest reviews and analysis on all the best television shows of 2016, not just "The X-Files" — plus check out Liz and Ben’s Twitter feeds for more, more, more. Plus, don’t forget to listen to Indiewire’s other podcasts, Screen Talk with Eric Kohn and Anne Thompson, as well as Indiewire Influencers, hosted by Editor in Chief Dana Harris and featuring various guests relevant to anyone tracking independent film or entertainment in general.
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