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Television

Stephen Colbert gets a ratings bump from Joe Biden

Joe Biden, Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert laughs with Vice President Joe Biden during a taping of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on Sept. 10.

(John Paul Filo / Associated Press)

Stephen Colbert’s Comedy Central character often boasted of giving a “Colbert bump” to authors who appeared on guests.

But on his third night on CBS as the host of “The Late Show,” Colbert experienced what can be called a Biden bump.

After a significant falloff from his premiere on Wednesday, the Thursday edition of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” ticked up to 3.9 million viewers, thanks to having the first interview with Vice President Joe Biden since the death of his son, Beau. Biden is also the subject of speculation about whether he will enter the 2016 race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

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Viewers did not get an answer about Biden’s political future but did see a lengthy, emotional exchange between the vice president and the newest network late-night host.

Colbert’s highly anticipated debut on Tuesday was watched by 6.6 million viewers, but viewership fell 44% to 3.7 million on his second night.

Among the audience of 18-to-49-year-olds that advertisers want to reach in late night, Colbert held steady at a .8 rating.

NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” was the most-watched late-night show on Thursday, with 4.3 million viewers. The program started late in the Eastern and Central time zones due to NBC’s kickoff NFL game in prime time, but that also provided a big lead-in for Fallon.

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Fallon was also the leader in the 18-to-49 demographic, with a 1.5 rating.

ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” had 2.2 million viewers and a .5 rating in the 18-to-49 category.

Fallon is expected to get a ratings boost on Friday as Donald Trump makes his first late-night talk show appearance since becoming the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination.

Twitter: @SteveBattaglio

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