The post-Super Bowl edition of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” was on the low side of recent shows airing after the game, but it also delivered the franchise’s biggest audience ever.

The live episode drew a 7.9 rating in adults 18-49 and 21.14 million viewers. That’s slightly better than the last post-Super Bowl telecast on CBS, an episode of “Elementary” in 2013 (7.8, 20.8 million). “Elementary,” however, had the smallest audience after the Super Bowl in a decade. Not coincidentally, both it and “The Late Show” had fairly late start times; Sunday’s telecast began at 10:54 p.m. ET.

In “Late Show” history, Sunday’s show delivered its biggest total audience ever and the best adults 18-49 and adults 18-34 ratings (7.5) since David Letterman’s CBS debut in August 1993.

Airing at 12:37 a.m. ET, “The Late Late Show with James Corden” drew a 1.7 in 18-49 and 4.97 million viewers. The 18-49 rating is on par with a post-Super Bowl “Late Late Show” in 2013, while the total audience and 18-34 rating (1.6) were up a bit from that.

Time zone-adjusted ratings for the game will be released later Monday.

Posted by:Rick Porter

Rick Porter has been covering TV since the days when networks sent screeners on VHS, one of which was a teaser for the first season of "American Idol." He's left-handed, makes a very solid grilled cheese and has been editor of TV by the Numbers since October 2015. He lives in Austin.

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