HomeEntertainment‘Daily Show’ Audience Has Stuck Around Since Jon Stewart’s Return

‘Daily Show’ Audience Has Stuck Around Since Jon Stewart’s Return


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Jon Stewart’s return to The Daily Show has given the show a big lift on the nights that he hosts — and even on the nights he doesn’t.

Stewart’s surprise return to Comedy Central’s late- night flagship — he’ll anchor the show on Monday nights through the presidential election — led to an immediate ratings spike for the show, as his first show back on Feb. 12 hit a multiyear high in viewers. The first few episodes after Stewart’s return, hosted by Daily Show correspondent Jordan Klepper, also came in way ahead of the show’s average viewership for 2023.

Seven weeks into the Stewart-and-correspondents hosting arrangement, that pattern has mostly held up. Ratings have cooled some in April, but both Stewart’s Monday shows and the news team-led installments later in the week have consistently stayed well above both the show’s guest host era of 2023 and the final weeks of Trevor Noah’s tenure in 2022.

Since Stewart’s return, The Daily Show has averaged about 546,000 viewers per episode (all figures in this story are for first airings on Comedy Central only and don’t include simulcasts or any delayed viewing or streaming). That’s a 62 percent increase over the 336,000 viewers the show averaged for the 22 weeks (plus one day) it aired original episodes last year; it was off the air from early May to mid-October during the writers strike.

Monday nights are far and away the most watched of The Daily Show’s week — no surprise given the residual goodwill for Stewart’s long run as host and the heavy promotion of his return. The nine episodes he has hosted so far (excluding a March 18 rerun) have averaged just under 880,000 viewers, more than 2 1/2 times the show’s 2023 average.

The Tuesday through Thursday shows are also holding up pretty well: The rotation of Daily Show correspondents hosting on those nights have averaged about 435,000 viewers per night, 29 percent higher than last year’s average and 5 percent better than the last nine weeks of Noah’s run as host in the fall of 2022.

The audience has fallen off some in April, with The Daily Show’s weekly average dipping under half a million viewers for each of the first three weeks of the month. That said, however, each week of April has still recorded higher viewership than any week since Noah announced his departure in September 2022.

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