It still isn’t Donald Trump and Fox News Channel numbers but the departure of Jon Stewart on August 6 is now the most-watched and highest-rated show in the series’ 19-year history. With the Live + 3 results in, the Comedy Central show had 5.1 million viewers and 2.6 million among adults 18-49. That’s a 48% and 44% rise respectively from the Live + Same Day numbers the special star-studded one-hour Daily Show drew.
Previously Stewart’s finale, which followed the blockbuster GOP debate on FNC the same night, was the second-most-watched in Live + SD with 3.5 million total viewers. The top Daily Show ever had been the 3.6 million who watched on October 28, 2008 when then soon-to-be elected Presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama came on. The previous Live + 3 highs were the audience of 3.8 million and 2.1 million in the key 18-49 demo on October 18, 2012. The guest that night was also Barack Obama, but this time he was the incumbent President running for re-election. Having visited The Daily Show seven times, Obama had one last sit down with his sometimes confidante Stewart on July 21 That show snagged 1.514 million viewers.
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Obama’s 2008 Daily Show visit scored the show its most watched Live + 7 airing with 4.3 million viewers. With Stewart’s exit already surpassing that in Live + 3, you wouldn’t lose any money betting on a new Live + 7 record coming in the next few weeks.
The Daily Show is back on September 28 with Trevor Noah in the anchor’s chair.
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