It was becoming clear that as the drumbeat of political campaigning became more jarring in advance of next year's presidential election, the sure winner was going to be ... Jon Stewart, and his running mate, Stephen Colbert. Even as ratings for Jay Leno, David Letterman, and Conan O'Brien erode, the two Comedy Central personalities are increasing their audiences, largely at the expense of the Republican contenders, but also at the expense of the incumbents. Last week, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Late Show With David Letterman , ended up in virtually a dead heat among the key 18-49 demo, with Leno posting a 0.9 rating and a 3 share, and Letterman, an 09/4. On cable, Comedy Central with Jon Stewart posted an 0.8 rating, while The Colbert Report averaged an 0.6. In an interview with TheWrap.com, Comedy Central President Michele Ganeless predicted that Stewart and Colbert will eventually top the established broadcast comedy hosts. "The lines are going to cross at some point, and it's very possible that it's going to happen in 2012. ... I feel like we are almost there," Ganeless told TheWrap. "I think Jon and Stephen are unmatched in what they do. They have a way of tapping into the zeitgeist. People are tuning into them to hear their point of view, and and that's not what the network broadcast shows do."

18/11/2011