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THE BATTLE FOR LATE-NIGHT EYEBALLS HEATS UP

The late-night wars are raging this week, and we’re all the beneficiaries of this ménage a noir.

The current dustup began Tuesday night with the much-anticipated premiere of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert on CBS, which climaxed with an all-star jam led by house-bandleader John Batiste. The show drew an audience of 6.6m, up 131% from David Letterman’s premiere last season, WSJ’s CMO Today reports. The results bested Jimmy Fallon on NBC and Jimmy Kimmel on ABC, but that was to be expected. Whether Colbert can wrest the top spot from Fallon could prove tough, but the two are already engaged in an intensive booking battle.

Fallon counterpunched last night with Justin Timberlake’s long-awaited return to The Tonight Show, and the pair delivered the sixth edition of “History of Rap.”

When Fallon started N.W.A’s “Straight Outta Compton,” Timberlake interrupted him, saying “Jimmy, we’ve been through this before. You’re not straight outta Compton. You’re straight out of upstate New York.”

Fallon and JT then brought their act to Forest Hills for the U.S. Open, as ESPN cameras caught their improv booty-shaking to Beyoncé's "Single Ladies.".

Meanwhile, at ABC, the network has decided to begin carrying pre-roll video ads on Jimmy Kimmel Live YouTube clips, CMO Today reports. Up until now, ABC had resisted monetizing their clips of Kimmel, despite his penchant for creating viral videos such as Obama reading mean tweets about himself. The reason? YouTube’s 45% cut of the ad revenue. (NBC also has chosen to not run ads.) ABC and YouTube now have reached an accord, and ads will begin appearing later this week or next month.

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