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U.S. late-night talk shows satirizing the Trump presidency at home are seeing audiences balloon in Canada and the U.K.
HBO’s weekly talk shows Real Time With Bill Maher and Last Week Tonight With John Oliver are nabbing record-breaking audiences for new seasons on HBO Canada, according to Numeris ratings data. After four weeks, the average audience for season 15 of Real Time is 404,000 viewers, up 73 percent from season 14 and the highest audiences ever for the series in Canada.
And the fourth-season premiere for Last Week Tonight was the most-watched episode of the series ever on HBO Canada, nabbing an average audience of 403,000 viewers. That’s double the average audience for the season three bow.
The Trump bump for U.S. late-night talkers in Canada mirrors the performance stateside as the president’s first 100 days in the White House has generated record ratings for American chat shows.
Elsewhere, pan-European pay TV giant Sky’s Sky Atlantic network in the U.K. has seen Last Week Tonight post its highest ratings yet in 2017. “The success of Last Week Tonight With John Oliver reflects the excellent format the show offers — a stand-out host who instantly appeals to the Sky Atlantic audience, the satirical tone and the ongoing backing and support of Sky Atlantic,” said a Sky spokesperson.
And the most aggressive skewering of Trump is winning the biggest Canadian audiences. The Feb. 11 installment of Saturday Night Live, with Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump and Melissa McCarthy reprising her now infamous Sean Spicer role, hit a 13 year-high on Global Television in Canada.
“The [SNL] series continues to keep audiences engaged with its timely comedy and apt political commentary,” the broadcaster said in a statement. Elsewhere, the second-season premiere for TBS’ Full Frontal With Samantha Bee on Canada’s The Comedy Network was up 91 percent on its rookie-season premiere, according to Numeris data.
And the total audience for The Daily Show With Trevor Noah on the free-to-air CTV network is up 15 percent this broadcast year, against 2016 figures, while viewing is flat on The Comedy Network. The Daily Show on CTV is the most-watched late night talk show in Canada, with an average 454,000 viewers this season, according to Numeris.
Georg Szalai in London contributed to this report.
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