"Comedy Central's mock newscast to air on CNNi"
July 10, 2002


LOS ANGELES -- Comedian Jon Stewart is taking his satirical-newscast routine to Cable News Network's international division, CNNi.

Starting Sept. 21, CNNi will air a special weekend edition of the Comedy Central cable network series "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" on CNNi outlets reaching 161 million homes worldwide, a CNNi spokesman said on Wednesday.

The international edition, drawing the best material from the previous week's Comedy Central segments -- with an emphasis on global topics -- will air on CNNi channels each Saturday and repeat on Sunday.

Stewart, already familiar to foreign TV audiences as two-time host of the music industry's Grammy Awards show, has anchored "The Daily Show" on comedy central since 1999.

The half-hour nightly news spoof, reminiscent of the "Weekend Update" segment on "Saturday Night Live ( news - Y! TV)," won the prestigious Peabody Award for excellence last year.

The 39-year-old comedian previously hosted "The Jon Stewart Show" on MTV, which later aired in syndication. His debut book, "Naked Pictures of Famous People," a collection of humorous what-if essays, received critical acclaim and made the New York Times bestseller list.

Earlier this year, Stewart appeared in the dark film comedy "Death to Smoochy," which also starred Robin Williams, Edward Norton, Danny DeVito and Catherine Keener.

CNNi executive Rena Golden told Daily Variety the network felt Stewart's low-key humor would translate well abroad.

"We made this decision on the merits of Jon himself," she said. "He has a quick wit, but he's not overwhelming -- he's not the stereotype of an overpowering American."

According to Variety, Stewart's youth appeal was a key factor in CNNi's decision to bring him on board, as the majority of its viewers are aged 30 to 49, a younger demographic than its American sister network.

The deal also follows a growing tendency of sister networks to "repurpose" programming from each other. In this case, the international outlet of CNN, a unit of AOL Time Warner Inc., is recycling a show originating from Comedy Central, a partnership between Time Warner Entertainment and Viacom Inc..

A CNNi spokesman said "The Daily Show" will join a growing roster of "feature" programming on the international news network, including "Inside Sailing," "The Music Room" and the trend-oriented "Design 360."


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