Daily Show Convention Coverage Draws Strong Ratings

Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart averages 1.7M total viewers during Democratic, Republican National Conventions. 9/11/2008 07:08:00 AM Eastern

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart’s coverage of the Democratic and Republican National Conventions drew strong ratings for Comedy Central’s late-night comedy show.

The program originated from the DNC in Denver the last week of August and the RNC in St. Paul, Minn., the first week of September.

Overall, The Daily Show averaged 1.7 million total viewers over those two weeks according to Nielsen Media Research live-plus-same-day data, up 37% from its 2004 coverage. In its key demo of persons 18-49, the show averaged 1.1 million viewers, up 42% from the 2004 conventions.

In fact, The Daily Show was the second-most-watched program on all of television among the often-hard-to-reach demos of men 18-24 and 18-34 in its 11 p.m. time slot.

The show’s convention coverage also saw a gain of about 6% over its year-to-date average in total viewers. While the show normally airs Monday-Thursday at 11 p.m., for the conventions, it premiered new episodes Tuesday-Friday at 11 p.m.

Interestingly, The Daily Show’s coverage of the RNC drew stronger ratings than the DNC.

Its coverage of the DNC, dubbed “Look Who’s Coming to Denver,” averaged 1.5 million total viewers and 1 million persons 18-49, both up 23% from 2004.

The RNC coverage -- “Restoring Honor and Dignity to the White House” -- averaged 1.8 million total viewers, up 32% over 2004, and 1.1 million persons 18-49, up 37%.

The Daily Show also had a digital-ratings coup, with a clip from the Sept. 3 episode going viral in a big way. The clip, “The Sarah Palin Gender Card,” was viewed 1.5 million times on its first day on the Web and 3.4 million times in the week since it first appeared online, making it the most-viewed clip in the site’s history.

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