Jon Stewart Makes a Comeback to a Smaller and Older TV Audience

The Daily Show Goes Through Changes: A Look at the Decline of Linear TV and Impact on Viewership

Since your last visit, “The Daily Show” has undergone significant changes. The same thing that happened to “The Daily Show” has also happened to linear TV in general. Multiple generations have stopped paying for TV, choosing to spend their time with streamers like Netflix, YouTube, and TikTok.

As a result, the remaining audience for conventional TV is shrinking and getting older. Nielsen charts demonstrate the decline in prime-time TV viewership, the aging demographic, and the decline in late-night TV viewership. Back in 2015, conventional TV attracted 103 million people a night, but that number has now shrunk to 57 million, with the median age of viewers increasing from 51 to 62.

Prime-time TV has experienced a significant loss in average viewership across broadcast and cable networks since 2015, particularly among younger adult viewers. The same trend is reflected in late-night TV, where Jon Stewart is returning to the scene. These statistics are not shocking if one stops to think about them, but they are nevertheless surprising to see presented in this manner. It remains to be seen how the changes in viewer demographics will impact Stewart and his fan base.

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