Jon Stewart’s Apple TV+ show, “The Problem with Jon Stewart,” which debuted in September, has failed to gain traction in its first season and lags far behind its competitors on broadcast and cable TV.
Last fall, about 180,000 U.S. homes saw the show’s first episode within the first seven days, according to the measurement firm Samba TV. By the fifth episode, which aired in early March, about 40,000 U.S. homes tuned in, down 78% from the season premiere.
To date, Apple hasn’t disclosed any viewership numbers for Stewart’s show, which since its debut has aired on a sporadic schedule.
Stewart’s predicament is hardly unique. The list of successful, prominent comedians who have hosted short-lived shows on Netflix or Hulu already includes Chelsea Handler, Michelle Wolf, the late Norm Macdonald, Joel McHale and Sarah Silverman. Years into the streaming revolution, the classic talk show format is still struggling to adapt. One problem is that people often watch streaming shows days or weeks after the programming initially aired, making it difficult for hosts to rely on jokes pegged to current events, long a pillar of traditional late-night programs.
Another challenge is that increasingly streaming services want programming that can appeal to subscribers around the world.
To judge by the program’s sluggish start, sticking to evergreen topics is no guarantee of success. Each hour-long episode of “The Problem” focuses on a single issue, such as gun control, race relations, the stock market or climate change…
Reviews have been mixed… “There’s no doubt Jon Stewart made much more of a splash in public discourse 20 years ago than he’s making today,” said Stephen Farnsworth, a professor of political science and international affairs at University of Mary Washington…
MacDailyNews Take: Color us unsurprised.
“As per the teaser trailer, The Problem With Jon Stewart is that he’s/it’s not funny.” – MacDailyNews, August 5, 2021
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