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Colbert in Iraq: Mission Accomplished

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After Conan O’Brien’s ratings decline continued in the beginning of this week, I wondered whether the Tonight Show was being affected by Stephen Colbert’s highly publicized week of USO shows from Iraq. While it’s impossible to establish a direct cause and effect, Bill Carter of the New York Times reports that Colbert’s ratings were way up early this week, 25% over his average, and that there was likely a strong push-pull the other way last week: “The numbers represent a big bounce from an atypically down week for Mr. Colbert the week before, which Comedy Central executives attributed to the strong first week of Conan O’Brien’s “Tonight Show” on NBC.”

Have I mentioned, by the way, how grateful I am to late-night television for having given me material for the slow summer TV weeks? It’s this or an 800-word review of Wipeout, folks.