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Is TV becoming more politicized in the Trump era?

Stephen Colbert visits
Stephen Colbert visits "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" at Rockefeller Center on February 17, 2014 in New York City.
Theo Wargo/Getty Images for The Tonight Sho

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The new White House has arguably been very good for one industry: standup comedy.

And late-night TV has taken note. By foregrounding pointed political humor that often targets the Trump administration, Stephen Colbert’s “The Late Show” has beaten Jimmy Fallon’s “The Tonight Show” in ratings in recent weeks.

Word is that Fallon’s “The Tonight Show,” which has typically stayed clear of politics, is contemplating moving toward a more political direction to win back the late-night crown.

This increased politicization of TV doesn’t end with the late-night shows, however. Proving that there’s an appetite for news and comedy, “Weekend Update” -- the popular Saturday Night Live staple -- has just gotten the greenlight for a trial primetime run this August.

How are audiences responding to the trend?


Dominic Patten, Senior Editor and Chief TV Critic at the news and entertainment site, Deadline; he tweets @DeadlineDominic