Republican Presidential candidate Jeb Bush chats with Stephen on the premiere of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Tuesday Sept. 8, 2015 on the CBS Television Network. (Credit: Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS)
By Frank Pallotta
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- It looks like Colbert Nation showed up to welcome back its leader on Tuesday.
The extra-long debut episode of the "Late Show with Stephen Colbert" delivered a 4.9 rating and a 13 share in overnight ratings, according to CBS.
This means 13% of all the TVs that were turned on were tuned to CBS.
It was easily the top-rated show in late-night, not surprisingly.
More detailed ratings, including total viewership information, will come out around noon.
But the overnight ratings indicate that Colbert had upwards of 5 million viewers.
His "Late Show" premiere had been promoted and anticipated for months.
Colbert's predecessor, David Letterman, retired in May. His final episode was watched by 13.7 million viewers, his biggest single audience since 1994.
Colbert comes from the Comedy Central cable channel, which has a much smaller audience than CBS. When Colbert ended his "Colbert Report" in December, the comedian attracted 2.5 million viewers.
Critical reception for the premiere was mostly upbeat.
Fans and critics alike were happy to see Colbert -- and his absurdist humor -- back on the airwaves, even if the debut seemed at times like an overstuffed hour-plus of television.
"It was not a rigidly composed plate but a groaning board, built less around a concept then around a vibe of smart fun and an urge to show off its host's many skills," wrote The New York Times new TV critic James Poniewozik.