Following The Daily Show‘s Emmy win in 2015, it seemed outgoing host Jon Stewart’s retirement wouldn’t prevent him from gracing the stage once again in 2016, 2017 or the next few years after that. That’s because, with producing credits on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show, Trevor Noah’s Daily Show and Larry Wilmore’s Nightly Show, any future recognition for either program would likely include a trophy with his name on it. Yet with Letterman’s heir still having trouble at the helm and correspondent Jessica Williams’ recent departure from Noah’s gig, it seems this prediction was wrong. Things seem to be unravelling for Stewart’s late night comedy empire — while Full Frontal‘s Samantha Bee keeps kicking everybody’s butts with a show that airs only once a week. The Canadian comedian whom many wanted to replace Stewart as Daily Show host (along with Williams, too) is killing it. A reality that, considering her comedian husband Jason Jones’ comments to The New York Times in January, is rife with irony:
“The fact that she wasn’t approached was a little shocking, to say the least,” he said. “But I think she is much happier where she ended up.”
Ever since the former Daily Show correspondent’s new program premiered on TBS in February, Bee’s star has been on the rise. The network took notice and increased the show’s 13-episode order to 39 through the end of 2016 — a move that made perfect sense as the 2016 presidential election was heating up and Full Frontal was producing viral hits almost as big as John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight.
Now, according to Variety, Full Frontal‘s ratings are comparable to those of the Noah-led Comedy Central vehicle (For the 2nd quarter, the Daily Show averaged 1.3 million viewers in Nielsen’s live-plus-7 ratings while “Full Frontal” averaged 1.2 million.) Sure, Bee’s only on once a week compared to Noah’s four back-to-back episodes every week, but the fact that Full Frontal garners that many viewers every Monday should send a clear message to her competitors. That, and the fact that her coverage of recent events like the Orlando nightclub shooting and Congress’ resulting inaction far outshine the rest.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: This report originally noted that, according to Variety, Bee’s Full Frontal ratings were double that of The Daily Show. As it turns out, that reporting by Variety was incorrect. We regret the error.)