It’s doom and gloom for Larry Wilmore and the rest of the cast and crew of The Nightly Show. Comedy Central has officially decided to pull the plug on the choosing not to wait until the election cycle has wrapped up. This news according to the New York Times hits pretty hard and has seemingly come down to contract renewal timing and how poorly the show has been doing.
“Even though we’ve given it a year and a half, we’ve been hoping against hope that it would start to click with our audience, but it hasn’t happened and we’ve haven’t seen evidence of it happening,” Kent Alterman, Comedy Central’s president has said. The show “hasn’t resonated.”
“I’m really grateful to Comedy Central, Jon Stewart, and our fans to have had this opportunity,” Wilmore said in a statement. “But I’m also saddened and surprised we won’t be covering this crazy election or ‘The Unblackening’ as we’ve coined it. And keeping it 100, I guess I hadn’t counted on ‘The Unblackening’ happening to my time slot as well.”
The numbers are what they are, you can’t deny that. The Colbert Report had an average audience of 1.7 million views in its final season. The Nightly Show, which took over Colbert time slot, had dropped all the way down to 776,000 on average a night. With all of that said though, the show did offer a fresh and unique perspective and shined a light on an important voice that was missing when it came to late night and politics in particular.
This Thursday will be the final episode of The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. A sad end to say the least. But that won’t be all for the host and cast. Wilmore already has additional projects underway including HBO’s new upcoming series Insecure where he is an executive producer.
The cancelation does ask a bigger question when it comes to late night television. With all of the new additions, all of the host changes, and the numbers dropping lower than ever, which show could be next to suffer the same fate in an overcrowded market. Can and how could a show like this be saved? Netflix? Hulu? Seeso? One way or another let’s hope so.
Here’s a clip from the first show after the announcement of the cancellation. Larry Wilmore came right out and addressed it on the top of the Monday, August 15th show.