Since Trevor Noah took over "The Daily Show," the Comedy Central franchise has been the subject of much scrutiny and diminished ratings. But the upcoming Republican and Democratic National Conventions could provide the boost Noah and Co. need.
Comedy Central announced Friday that “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” will air two live episodes on the final nights of both the Republican National Convention Thursday, July 21, and the Democratic National Convention Thursday, July 28, according to a press release. The episodes will be a chance for Noah's iteration of the popular political satire show to capture the attention of more viewers and take advantage of the level of anticipation surrounding the two conventions.
Both episodes are scheduled to begin at 11 p.m. EDT. “The Daily Show” will also simul-stream the opening segments of both live episodes on Facebook Live.
"The Daily Show" has had its fair share of struggles as of late. The 2016 Emmy nominations were announced Thursday and "The Daily Show" was absent from the list of Outstanding Variety Series nominees for the first time in 15 years. While that is in part the result of increased competition — new franchises like "The Nightly Show," "Full Frontal," and "Last Week Tonight" have all emerged in the last five years — it also seems like the culmination of the continued criticism the show has faced since the South African Noah took over in 2015 for beloved host Jon Stewart.
Since that switch, the show's ratings have dipped, as well. The show is averaging under a million viewers per episode in the key 18-49 age demographic in a year where a presidential election, bread and butter material for the political comedy show, has dominated the headlines.
As it makes a play for higher ratings with its convention episodes, "The Daily Show" will not be alone. HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher," which normally airs live Friday nights, is also airing special, live convention episodes. Maher will host live half-hour episodes recapping the Republican convention July 20 and 21 and the Democratic counterpart July 27 and 28.