The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah now has more job security than any other host in late night, at least on paper. With his ratings on the upswing — viewership has jumped 14 percent this season versus last — Comedy Central has given Noah a five-year extension on his contract, signing the comic to continue as TDS host through 2022. The deal is a massive vote of confidence in Noah, whose first months on the job as Jon Stewart’s replacement were greeted with decidedly mixed reviews and meh ratings.
But Noah’s numbers have recovered somewhat, particularly among Comedy Central’s millennial target audience. TDS has also seen a dramatic spike in the viral stickiness of its content, with online consumption of segments from the show surging 50 percent over the past year. Renewing Noah’s deal for another half-decade is a signal Comedy Central execs believe Noah is the right person to steer the network’s signature unscripted series for the foreseeable future. In a statement released with the news of his deal, Noah put the pact in perspective. “It’s really exciting to renew this contract for either five more years or until Kim Jong Un annihilates us all — whichever one comes first,” he said.
Noah’s contract extension is the latest in a round of renewals for the major late-night comedy hosts. Within the past week, HBO has announced new deals for both of its weekly political comedy hosts, Bill Maher and John Oliver. The two men have signed on through 2020. NBC’s late-night duo of Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers are also locked up well into the future, with both men under contract until 2021, following contract renegotiations in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Over at CBS, the network hasn’t said much about the contract lengths for stars Stephen Colbert and James Corden. But Colbert’s initial deal with the Eye committed the comedian to the network through 2020, according to multiple reports around the time he joined CBS. The one major late-night host without a long-term deal in place — at least a publicly announced deal — is TBS’s Samantha Bee. Last November, the network renewed her Full Frontal through the end of this year. Given the strong ratings and buzz around her Emmy-winning show, however, it seems very likely TBS will look to extend its relationship with Bee.