The return of longtime host Jon Stewart after his summer hiatus from Comedy Central’s "The Daily Show" brought a surge in viewership to the late-night staple. Deadline.com reports that more than 2 million viewers turned out, marking a 24% improvement on the show’s year-to-date average of 1.63 million for episodes hosted by Stewart.
"About 640,000 of that crowd was aged 18-34 — the show’s target audience and nearly a quarter more than Stewart episodes have averaged year to date," the story reports. "In his final two weeks of original episodes before leaving to direct his first feature film ‘Rosewater,’ Stewart averaged 1.415 million ‘Daily Show’ viewers — which had been down 12% compared to 1.6 million for the comparable two weeks of originals the previous summer."
Stewart, who missed much of the summer season to shoot the movie in Jordan, is quoted in the story as saying during his return appearance last night: “I’ve missed you so much — you don’t know what it’s like out there in the real world. Nobody applauds every stupid fucking thing you do!”
Deadline adds that Stewart showed "telltale signs of a comic who has been through a life-changing experience and feels he should be doing something more serious. In his absence, John Oliver filled in, averaging 1.3 million viewers, indicating viewers clearly were curious to watch the show’s Senior British Correspondent try out Stewart’s chair. His consistent numbers over his run meant they liked what they saw."