'The Daily Show' beats 'Conan' in January ratings

Here’s an update in the late-night talk show ratings war.  No, the other one.

Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart has beaten TBS’ Conan for the month of January among total viewers and adults 18-49. But Conan was still a strong No. 2. Here’s how those cable talk shows (and a few others) measure up:

Daily Show: 1.6 million viewers, 0.8 demo
Conan: 1.1 million viewers, 0.7 demo
Colbert Report: 1.1 million viewers, 0.6 demo
Chelsea Lately: 900,000 viewers, 0.5 demo
Mo’Nique Show: 800,000 viewers, 0.4 demo
Lopez Tonight: 600,000, 0.3 demo

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  • ks


  • Al

    For those wondering, the numbers for Leno were 3.9 million total viewers and 1.0 in the demo. So, he beat Conan by more than three to one in total viewers and by more than 40% in the demo.

    • LOL

      McDonald’s sells more hamburgers than anyone else, too. Does that mean they’re the best?

      • Craig

        @LOL well said!

      • Tye-Grr

        Love it.

      • @LOL

        Maybe not, but McDonalds is the richest fast food joint out there. Networks, and TV shows, are out there to generate ratings and make money. No one pays for advertising based on the “quality” of a show.

        But you keep trying to spin Conan’s pathetic performance in the 18-49 demo…the demo he should be OWNING.

      • Rich

        @LOL: What is means is that all things considered it is the preferred burger joint by a majority. “Best” is a matter of taste and it’s not any one person’s opinion that counts. It’s the majority. This is simple logic folks. I don’t know why people come with these idiotic rationales that make Conan fans look like delusional idiots. Just admit most people prefer Jay and you happen to be in the majority, and that’s it.

      • Rich

        @LOL. the last sentence should read “…and you happen to be in the minority”, since you prefer Conan.

    • blake

      Who cares? In 20 years we aren’t going to remember who had more viewers, we are going to remember who was funnier. And that is why guys like Conan, Colbert and Stewart will be remembered, while Jay will be forgotten.

      • ??

        That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever read. If you think TV history is going to forget Jay, or delegate him to a footnote, you’re sorely mistaken.

      • rerun

        Yeah, pretty sure we’ll remember Jay. Not fondly, and as kind of a hacky host, but we’ll remember him. I remember Pat Sajak and Alan Thicke.

      • Ryan

        Please History, for the sake of how our race is remembered, forget Jay. And for the same reason of credibility, remember Jon. One wasted our time with god-awful anecdotes even HE seemed to cringe at, the other probably changed the course of American Political history with his level of influence over young voters.

      • Rich

        Blake sound like he’s just a sore looser. Simple facts folks. If a show consistently has higher ratings it means more people are choosing to watch it which mean more people prefer it to the alternate crap they choose not to watch. As far as saying Jay will be forgotten that’s a pipe dream. Soon as family guy is off on TBS I turn to the daily show and then to Jay. Conan sucks anyway. His promos make me want to hurl chunks.

      • dmillz

        Leno may be a big ratings giant now. but stewert was host of the oscars twice, had a rally on the washington mall, and was just appointed to the nyc 9/11 memorial commission.

    • Joe

      More viewers is not an indication of higher quality, you know what comedy has the most viewers on television? Two and a half men, do you think that’s the funniest show on television?

      • Rich

        @Joe. Dude stop trying to rationalize. It’s not what any one person thinks is funny. The fact that Two and a half men is the comedy with the most viewers means that a majority does think it’s funny where you and I may not (I certainly don’t think it’s funny) but I am lucid enough to acknowledge that for that show my sense of humor is not in sync with the majority.
        Trying to impose one’s individual opinion as though it reflects the collective is an effort in futility. You guys just can’t accept the reality that most people think Jay is funnier than Conan period and that your sense of humor is not in sync with that of the masses.

    • matt

      Well not everyone has cable, so yeah.

      • No

        Not an excuse, since TBS is the most distributed cable network out there (100+ million homes), compared to 115 million homes for NBC.

      • matt

        The amount of viewers who watch NBC in general is far higher than those who watch TBS. Most people flip to the big networks first before they switch to cable networks. It’s more fair to compare his show with similar ones on other cable networks, like this article did.

      • Dave

        Matt, you can’t expect these simpletons to think as logically and rationally as you do. These trolls will jump on any chance they have to bash Conan O’Brien.

      • @matt

        OK sure – and in that case, he barely came in #2 despite all the hype behind him (practically tied with Colbert at #3).

        HE still sucks, no matter how you slice it or dice it.

      • matt

        @@matt – you’re free to your opinion but over a million viewers disagree. I will agree that he didn’t quite live up to the hype, but most fans knew what they were getting.

      • Mike

        Why does being 2nd or 3rd suck? Colbert certainly doesn’t suck. First of all, comedy, like beauty, is in the eye/ear of the beholder… What’s that?! There’s a word that fits that description?! **opinion**

        I like Conan, a lot, and I despise Jay. As did Johnny Carson, and of course, so do Letterman and Conan.

    • Anne

      Except that basically all of Leno’s viewers are over the age of 55. So, you know, his audience is literally old people. Meanwhile, Conan, Stewart, and Colbert rule the 18-49 demo – the one most highly prized by networks and advertisers. So yeah, I’d say those guys are beating Leno where it counts.

      • Except…

        Leno got more viewers in 18-49 than Conan (1.0 in the demo)

        So come back to us when you actually have a point to make

      • Susie

        On a network, he barely beat Conan in the demo. If you don’t understand the difference, then you shouldn’t even be discussing this.

      • ^^

        It looks like you’re the one who clearly doesn’t “understand” anything. A beat by 30% is not “barely”, and TBS is a fully-distributed cable network (one of the few on the air in the US).

        For someone like Jay, who only attracts “old people”, the fact he’s kicking Conan’s butt in the youth demo is damn embarrassing – no matter how desperately you try to spin it otherwise.

      • Rich

        @Anne:Except basically that that line about Leno’s viewers is BS. Leno beats Conan handily. I watch Family Guy on TBS, then Stewart, then Jay. The only time I see Conan is in his vomit inducing promos.

      • LOL

        Rich is a shill for Leno. He’s like those Republicans that post on mostly Democratic sites, constantly trying to sell his point of view.

      • Rich

        @LOL: The exact same thing can be said about you except that you’re shilling for Conan. So your point is neither here nor there. You people get personal and all rhetorical once someone unmasks the truth people like you try to hide in convoluted logic.

    • Quirky

      The only number that matters is total ad revenue versus production budget costs and that is something no network will ever make public. Fans arguing about ratings is a useless fight.

    • Joe

      Don’t forget Conan’s on TBS, not NBC…He’s doing really well as the article points out. Also, there are more dimwitted people than intelligent people out there, more people need their humor spoon fed and explained to them. Of course Jay has more viewers. Most of them die soon enough though.

    • Jaime

      Leno is also on Network TV and Conan is on cable, as are the other shows in this article. I don’t get TBS, so I have to watch Conan online, and I think a lot of Conan’s audience probably do so as well since they are a younger generation.

    • Mike

      I’m proud to not be among the masses in my choice of media consumption. Conan AND Stewart are way more hilarious than Jay Lamo.

    • rico

      Leno is also on network tv which is much more accessibly so I would’t say beat. Basic cable has much more channel options and shouldn’t be looked at the same.

  • Sally

    Not surprised. John is alot funnier then Conan.

    • Joe

      It’s Jon, and no he’s not.

  • Jesse

    Personally, I watch Stewart/Colbert in their normal slot and then catch the Conan replay an hour later. Makes the most sense. If I watched Conan in it’s normal slot I’d have to wait an hour and a half for the Stewart/Colbert replays.

    • LOL

      I watch Conan at 11, the Kimmel opening between 12 and 12:30 or so, then Fallon at 12:35. After Fallon, I catch the Daily Show and Colbert replays. Good TV all the way until 2:30am!

  • DavidJ

    What I want to know is, who are these Daily Show viewers who aren’t sticking around for Colbert?? It’s got the same snarky sense of humor and is JUST as brilliant (on some nights, even more so).

  • jodipo

    I am not surprised. People wanted Conan to succeed cause of that douche Leno, but Stewart is still funnier

  • erin

    I DVR both shows, and watch them at 3:00 in the morning while feeding the baby!

  • Amber

    Tied with Colbert in total viewers, not too shabby. I stack up the Conan eps and watch them at my leisure with my sister. I haven’t watched Jon in several weeks – I need a break.

  • Sarah

    McDonalds may have the most money but it still doesnt make them the best….CONAN IS THE SHIZNAT!

  • cameobrooch

    It’s all Jay Leno’s fault! He has a big chin and his fans are old and stupid! Team Coco is smarter than everyone else!

  • D

    I don’t know why Colbert doesn’t get more viewers. Maybe the time slot…

  • Allobidallo

    Didn’t Conan have reruns the first two weeks of the year? I didn’t watch the Conan reruns because I had already seen them. Was Jon Stewart new for the whole month? Not that I give a crap. I like Conan, I like Jon Stewart. Jay Leno is watched by more people because he’s “safe.” He makes fun of newspaper clippings, idiots on the streets, and items sold on Ebay. Safe.

  • Joey

    the rating system no longer even works? how many of you people are downloading shows? lets take a sample of jay vs conans download rates. On two of the sites I download from conan has 79 downloads for 01 27 and Jay has 17 downloads. on another site I like conan has 74 and jay has 3 downloads.

    what needs to be done is we need to get rid of comercials, add product placements then have shows for free download, and then count all download rates, Jay will be a thing of the past.

    I dont even know anyone who has cable anymore, all my friends download what they want to watch.

  • Felicia

    Conan will be cancelled – so this is a feel-good story.

  • Jamie Presot

    At the very end, Conan is just not funny. He’s a good guy, but just isn’t funny.
    Not that Jay cracks me up either, but his show has a better cut for my taste.
    Eve though Conan ratings aren’t good (they hopes to compete with the big guys at ratings, while they can’t compete even with the middle ones), the show is unlikely to be canceled.

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