Scarborough announcement he’s leaving GOP boosted Colbert to two-month high ratings – The Hill

Joe Scarborough‘s guest appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on Tuesday night gave the CBS late-night program its best ratings in more than two months, according to Nielsen Research.

The interview benefited from some advance hype, with rumors leaking that Scarborough, a former Florida GOP congressman from the 90s, was going to announce he was leaving the Republican party on Colbert’s show.

“The Late Show” usually tapes a few hours in advance before it is shown at 11:30 p.m. ET.

“You have to ask yourself, what exactly is the Republican Party willing to do?” Scarborough said to Colbert. “How far are they willing to go? How much of this country and our values are they willing to sell out?”

“Aren’t you a Republican?” Colbert asked.

“I am a Republican, but I’m not going to be a Republican anymore,” Scarborough said to loud applause from the audience. “I’ve got to become an independent.”

Scarborough joined MSNBC in 2003. He was previously elected to Congress four times, representing Florida’s 1st district.

Scarborough raised eyebrows for announcing the decision on his own network MSNBC’s rival CBS.

Jimmy Fallon hosts “The Tonight Show” on NBC at the same hour and has mostly trailed Colbert in the late night ratings wars since Trump took office.

Colbert’s executive producer is Chris Licht, who once worked in the same capacity on the Scarborough co-hosted “Morning Joe.”

His co-host Mika Brzezinksi also appeared on the episode.

“The Late Show” averaged a 2.9 rating on Tuesday night. A single national ratings point represents 1 percent of the total number, or 1,156,000 households in the country.

Its highest rating before that was a 3.1 rating on May 9 featuring a reunion of “The Colbert Report” castmates, including Jon Stewart, John Oliver, Samantha Bee, Rob Corddry and Ed Helms, from the host’s tenure at Comedy Central.

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