Overnights: Jon Stewart’s Monday Night Daily Show Sheds More Viewers

Last night’s episode of The Daily Show was Jon Stewart’s seventh as Monday host, but it didn’t fare particularly well from a Nielsen ratings standpoint.

The Daily Show’s April 1, 2024 episode averaged 693,000 total viewers and 165,000 P18-49 viewers at 11 p.m., according to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data. That represents an -18% decline in total viewers but only a -1% decline in P18-49 demo viewers relative to Stewart’s most-recent Monday 11 p.m. episode (March 25, 2024), previously his lowest-rated since returning this past February.

With the 2024 men’s NCAA tournament national championship game scheduled for next Monday in primetime, one can reasonably expect another Monday ratings low for Stewart. 

It should be noted that last night’s Daily Show telecast ran for 47 minutes, whereas most of Stewart’s other Monday telecasts have lasted 31-32 minutes.

Additionally, the above-mentioned total viewer and P18-49 numbers are far from final. Stewart’s Monday, March 25 episode averaged 849,000 total live-plus-same-day linear viewers, and improved to 1,774,000 total linear viewers after Nielsen live-plus-three-day data arrived. That’s more than a +100% bump in total viewers. It’s fair to assume the April 1 episode will see similar growth once delayed-viewing data arrives later in the week. But, will last night’s numbers surpass those of any previous Stewart Monday episode, even after the arrival of delayed-viewing data? That seems unlikely.

Despite a second consecutive week of viewer erosion, the Jon Stewart-led Daily Show continues to attract a far larger audience than what the program averages on non-Stewart nights. Prior to the writers’ strike in May, rotating guest hosts for The Daily Show averaged 369,000 live-plus-same-day total viewers per show; when The Daily Show resumed in mid-October after writers’ strike concluded, that number fell to roughly 300,000 viewers on average.

Federal Trade Commission chair Lina Khan was Stewart’s Daily Show guest last night. Khan is the first federal government official to appear on Stewart’s program since he returned this past February.

Stewart disclosed on-air that he originally planned to interview the FTC chair on the podcast for his Apple TV+ series The Problem With Jon Stewart–until his bosses there asked him not to.

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