It’s quite likely that no one really anticipated the kind of impact The Daily Show would have on pop culture. At first, the show – then headlined by former Late Late Show host Craig Kilborn – was conceived as a satire of serious news coverage but has since evolved into a popular source of news all on its own, albeit one filtered through an incisive sense of humor. This reputation has become even more apparent since the 2005 debut of its spinoff, The Colbert Report, and now – as the 2012 election season gears up – Comedy Central has renewed both shows, even as imitators like The Onion News Network have come and gone.
According to Zap2It, Daily Show and Colbert Report hosts Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, respectively, have extended their existing contracts. Stewart has inked an agreement to remain onboard as host, executive producer and writer of The Daily Show until mid-2015. Meanwhile, Colbert will stay on as host of The Colbert Report through 2014. Both of the hosts’ contracts were set to expire in the next year.
From a ratings perspective, the decision is a no-brainer for Comedy Central. The Daily Show and The Colbert Report have each seen a boost in ratings during the current season. The former has increased its audience in the critical demographic of adults 18-49 by 10 percent, while the latter’s ratings have risen by 11 percent in that same demographic. Given the impending presidential election in November, this is a predictable turn of events for the shows, both of which recently received Emmy nominations.
Even with its re-branding last year and the introduction of its first new logo in 15 years, Comedy Central has smartly stuck with the shows and stars that put the once-fledgling network on the proverbial map. In addition to sticking by its two satirical news shows, the network has already renewed South Park, the network's other flagship series, through 2016. As it stands, expect Comedy Central’s long-standing winning streak to continue on for at least the next few years.