In a surprising turn of events, Jon Stewart is set to make a return to “The Daily Show” for the first time since 2015. However, the show will undergo significant changes in terms of format and target audience. Recent studies show that the average age of “Daily Show” viewers has increased substantially while viewership has also declined dramatically. These trends reflect the broader shift away from traditional television towards streaming platforms.
The decline in prime-time TV viewership across both broadcast and cable networks has been a major factor in this trend. Since 2015, the median age of viewers has risen from 51 to 62, indicating that younger audiences are increasingly turning away from traditional television. This trend is also reflected in late-night TV, where Stewart’s iconic popularity was once a driving force behind viewership and age demographics alike.
Despite these predictable trends, the sudden shift towards streaming platforms has accelerated the decline much earlier than expected. The rise of Netflix and other streaming services has undermined the traditional television market, leaving networks scrambling to adapt to changing consumer preferences and technological advancements. As a result, traditional television networks are facing new challenges and opportunities as they seek to remain relevant in an increasingly competitive landscape.