Finally, a TV trend that doesn't involve eating
insects. The genre du jour is fake news, thanks to "The Daily
Show" on Comedy Central. The Jon Stewart-hosted series has made
huge gains in the ratings -- up 59 percent in adults 18-49 compared
with a year ago -- and August is turning out to be its most-watched
month yet this year. "We made it onto the radar with our election
coverage and the 35 days of limbo that ensued," says executive
producer Madeleine Smithberg. "And getting a Peabody Award, a
story on "60 Minutes," and two Emmy nominations didn't hurt."
Now insiders say VH1 is mulling over a "Daily Show"-like program,
and CNN is considering adding a comedic show to their all-news
lineup. Also, HBO recently signed Chris Rock, reportedly to produce
a parody of a newsmagazine. "I think it's funny," says Smithberg.
"Our format was already copied from news, so I'm flattered that
someone wants to copy us copying someone else."