UPDATE: The episode drew 13.76 million viewers, which is Letterman’s biggest audience since February of 1994 (but not high enough to beat the farewell audience for Jay Leno’s final Tonight Show appearance — the second time he left, not the first).
The bump also led to The Late Late Show with James Corden having an audience of 4 million viewers, which is the show’s largest audience with any host since its inception.
EARLIER: David Letterman ended his Late Show run on a memorable note in an episode that drew his largest audience in a decade.
Letterman’s final Late Show appearance averaged a 9.3 local rating, which is his best rating since a 2005 episode that featured Oprah Winfrey as a guest. That initial rating is high enough to outperform all primetime programming on Wednesday night, according to CBS.
The Late Show had already seen a few weeks of increased ratings, and this final high note is an impressive one to go out on. The ratings spilled over, boosting the Late Late Show with James Corden as well; Letterman’s followup had an all-time high local rating of 2.5, a 79 percent increase from last week.