Late night shows have always taken politics head-on, especially in recent years, with The Daily Show serving as the king of the mountain for most of its post-Kilborn years. And with Donald Trump as President now, one would assume the hunger for that kind of programming is even more pronounced (among certain demographics). But anyone looking to find The Daily Show at its streaming-focused second home at Hulu will be disappointed, as a major contract expiration means the long-running series will soon be completely absent from the service. But you know where you can still stream it? Comedy Central, naturally.
That may sound like a sarcastic and super-obvious answer, but it's basically the only answer at this point, as The Daily Show may take a while to find a new home on any standalone streaming services. (Which is a complicated issue in and of itself.) Comedy Central's parent company, Viacom, had a contract going with Hulu which had a wide number of series under its umbrella, obviously including The Daily Show, and once that contract expired recently, new episodes of the nightly chat show stopped showing up in Hulu's daily lineups, and all past episodes will soon be removed. Many other Comedy Central hits like Chappelle's Show and @midnight are already gone, so it isn't just the Daily Show fans in Hulu's subscriber base that need to start heading to Comedy Central's website to stream new episodes.
We've seen contract problems like this before, but this appears to be slightly different, as Variety reports Viacom's CEO Bob Bakish stated during a recent conference call that the company will take its focus away from partnerships with SVOD providers to deal more directly with streaming bundle services from places like Sling TV and DirecTV Now, which is closer to how things already work with cable and satellite companies. It's a growing trend, with fewer big money syndication deals happening on linear TV, which has impacted the amount of money SVOD services are offering for exclusive rights to shows. Shows like South Park and Key & Peele have exclusive one-off contracts, so they'll stay on Hulu, but The Daily Show isn't likely to.
In the time since Trevor Noah took over for Jon Stewart, The Daily Show has suffered a fairly dramatic and consistent audience decline, but Comedy Central has seen its overall audience rise in terms of digital platforms. So Viacom definitely isn't interested in keeping streaming deals out of the running altogether, but a more defined approach will likely be used going forward. And, in the meantime, the network has no trouble promoting the fact that it's the easiest place to go to watch new episodes.
The Daily Show airs weeknights on Comedy Central, and you might as well just keep Comedy Central in mind going forward if you want to watch it at all. Head to our midseason premiere schedule to see what that network and the rest have yet to premiere in early 2017.