David Letterman's farewell episode nabs highest early ratings in nearly a decade

David letterman finale early ratingsCBSDavid Letterman at his desk during the show’s last episode.

David Letterman’s farewell from late-night on Wednesday evening earned him the highest ratings in nearly a decade.

According to early numbers, the goodbye episode earned a huge 9.3/24 in local ratings. That’s the highest ratings for the show since Dec. 1, 2005.

Paul Schaefer LettermanCBS/’Late Show with David Letterman’David Letterman’s bandleader, Paul Shaffer, waves goodbye.

To give you an idea about how big that is for Letterman, last night’s numbers represent a 127% increase over Monday’s episode (4.1/11) with guests Tom Hanks — appearing for the 60th time on the show — and rocker Eddie Vedder.

Additionally, “Late Show’s” finale beat all primetime shows on Wednesday.

“The Late, Late Show with James Corden” also got a bump from its lead-in. Its early ratings, 2.5/10, are a new all-time high for the program. That represents a 79% increase over last week (1.4/05) and 150% increase from last year (1.0/03).

CBS will release the full overnight ratings later on Thursday, which will include the amount of total viewers.

Letterman’s finale episode showed a mix of favourite segments like Top Ten lists and memorable moments. Oprah Winfrey, who Letterman has publicly feuded with, and Bonnie Rait were the guests.

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