The Daily Show Sheds Viewers with Co-Host Format

Comedy Central’s The Daily Show shed viewers this past week.

According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data for the week of March 11, 2024 (live-plus three isn’t available through Thursday yet), Comedy Central’s late-night talk program averaged 547,000 total viewers and 112,000 P18-49. That’s a -1% drop-off in total viewers, and a -20% decline in P18-49 viewers from the week prior (March 4, 2024).

Jon Stewart wasn’t necessarily the problem last week. The Daily Show’s March 11 episode, Stewart’s fifth as Monday host, averaged nearly 2 million total viewers and 335,000 P18-49 viewers per Nielsen live-plus-three data. That’s up +7% in total viewers (his largest Daily Show audience in three weeks), but -10% in P18-49 viewers from his March 4 episode.

After Jon Stewart’s Monday show, The Daily Show went with a co-host format Tuesday through Thursday, with correspondents Desi Lydic and Michael Kosta sitting next to one another at the desk. It’s not the first time the show has tapped two correspondents to co-host (Michael Kosta & Ronny Chieng were paired one night last October, while Jordan Klepper & Desi Lydic co-hosted once in November), but it was the first week-long co-hosting stint. (Both correspondents hosted solo over different weeks in February.)

Those three episodes (March 12-14, 2024) averaged 414,000 total viewers and 92,000 P18-49 viewers, per Nielsen live-plus-same-day data. That’s down -6% in total viewers, and -22% in P18-49 viewers from the prior Tuesday-Thursday when Ronny Chieng solo-hosted the program.

Numbers remain relatively strong for The Daily Show in the Jon Stewart Monday era. For reference, prior to the writers’ strike in May, rotating Daily Show guest hosts averaged 369,000 total viewers per show; when The Daily Show resumed in mid-October after writers’ strike concluded, that average fell to roughly 300,000 viewers on average.

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