""The Daily Show" spawns parodies"
September 4, 2001
by Lynette Rice


"Daily" special

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."


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