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The Daily Show and the Decline of Linear TV: The Median Age Keeps Rising


Feb 12, 2024
Jon Stewart Makes a Comeback on Television with a Smaller, Older Audience

In the past month, things have taken a turn for the worse. The decline in TV viewership has become increasingly evident, with data from Nielsen indicating that what has happened to “The Daily Show” is happening to linear TV in general.

Multiple generations are turning away from traditional TV and opting instead for streaming services such as Netflix or social media platforms like YouTube and TikTok. This trend has been particularly noticeable among younger viewers, who are no longer attracted to the aging and shrinking group of TV watchers.

Nielsen’s data shows that the median age of TV viewers has jumped from 51 to 62 since 2015, while the number of people watching prime-time and late-night TV has declined significantly among all age groups. The median age of remaining TV viewers continues to rise as well.

It’s clear that these trends are not surprising, but it’s still striking to see the data laid out so plainly. It remains to be seen how Stewart and his fans will fare against this backdrop.

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