"Comedy Central's Stewart creating show for CNN Internationl"
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
July 8, 2002
by Matt Kempner


This is not a joke. Comedy Central's Jon Stewart, whose schtick is making fun of the day's headlines, is putting together a show that will launch on CNN's international news network.

Stewart will compile some of his best lines from Comedy Central each week and retell them for a new late-night show that will air in Europe, Latin America and Asia on English-language CNN International.

The weekly half-hour show debuts Sept. 21. It will be available only outside the United States to avoid competing with Comedy Central, which is owned by CNN parent AOL Time Warner and Viacom.

The idea for the new show underscores how different CNN's international version is.

CNN International airs several feature programs on weekends, including ones that focus on sailing, music and design. But Stewart's "The Daily Show: Global Edition" is the first straight entertainment show for the network.

Actually, not so straight.

"It's a risk," CNN International General Manager Rena Golden said. But Stewart's "smart and sassy" approach and the focus on poking fun at the news makes sense for the network, which tends to draw younger adult viewers than CNN does in the United States, she said.

"I wouldn't put on Benny Hill, for God's sake," Golden said.

Many of CNN's international viewers are looking for coverage of the United States and a view of what Americans are up to socially and culturally. But Stewart is not widely known overseas, and it remains to be seen how funny his jokes will be to an international audience.

Golden said Stewart has not been told to avoid controversies such as the Middle East, but CNN International will have veto rights over what it airs. And the comedy will get bumped if there's breaking news, she said.

Stewart is sensitive to the issues, Golden added. "He's not offensive. He's not a know-it-all, boasting American."


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