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The Daily Show is expanding.
Comedy Central’s late-night franchise will go from a half-hour to 45 minutes each night starting Monday. The expansion is the first in the show’s 24-year history.
The change comes as the program has found an increased audience and a number of high-profile bookings during the coronavirus pandemic, when it has rebranded as The Daily Social Distancing Show. In addition to the usual comedy pieces with the show’s correspondents, host Trevor Noah has interviewed the likes of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Bill Gates and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, among others.
During the pandemic, the Daily Show team has learned to produce episodes remotely during the pandemic, with Noah recording his segments from his home and others conferencing in from their locations. “We have to write, produce and record everything much earlier in the day because, since everyone is home, the post process takes much longer,” executive producer Jen Flanz told The Hollywood Reporter.
Comedy Central is planning to continue the 45-minute Daily Show episodes as long as remote production remains in place. The expanded show also help fill the 11:30 p.m. slot, as Lights Out With David Spade ended production on March 12. (Comedy Central Productions, which produces the show, is shopping it to other outlets.)
Over the three weeks from March 30-April 17, The Daily Show has averaged about 761,000 same-day viewers, up by about 100,000 viewers compared to its audience in January and February. Comedy Central also says views of Daily Show content across platforms is up by 56 percent in 2020 vs. the previous year.
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