The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore was cancelled once and for all due to low ratings 12 weeks before the 2016 presidential election.
Comedy Central Show On Air for Less than Two Years
When Larry Wilmore became the host of his own show on Comedy Central, dubbed The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, it was an exciting and historic event. A spin-off of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, for which Larry Wilmore was a regular contributor, The Nightly Show initially received positive reviews and developed a solid fanbase. It premiered on January 19, 2015, running four nights a week – Monday through Thursday – from 11:30pm until midnight. The show’s recurring segments include “Keep it 100,” in which Wilmore challenges his guests to answer controversial questions while keeping it 100% real. In addition, a contributor Grace Parra reported on topics of nightly interest in a segment called “Nightly! Nightly!” Regarding the 2016 presidential election, these segments were consistently referred to as “Blacklash 2016: Unblackening.” Other segments included “Pardon the Integration,” “Carlos Jordanson,” a Hillary Clinton aide, “#Hash It Out with Franchesca Ramsey,” “Mike Yard’s the Y Files,” in which contributor Mike Yard discussed conspiracy theories, and “Resident Blegghead with Felonious Munk,” in which contributor Felonious Munk acts as a sesquipedalian who uses unnecessarily large words to makes simple points, confusing both the audience and Larry. Despite this hilarious selection of segments, The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore failed to bring in enough ratings.
Final Episode to Air Tonight, August 18th 2016
Due to deficient ratings, the final episode of The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore will air tonight, August 18, 2016. At this point, the show has aired 260 episodes. The show has been compared to a mix between The Daily Show and Politically Incorrect, which was a late night show hosted by Bill Maher from 1993 to 2002. The reason behind the cancellation was summed up as being that the show didn’t “resonate.” Specifically, it failed to capture the attention of the key demographic for the Comedy Central network, young men aged 18-34. In contrast, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, the replacement for Jon Stewart, has been performing very well with that demographic. The network said they couldn’t be happier with Noah’s performance, specifically referring to the ratings numbers on Hulu. When Larry Wilmore spoke at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, he received mixed reviews and the ratings for his show did not go up. However, that was arguably his biggest press moment throughout the course of his show’s run. It is particularly unfortunate that the show was cancelled just 12 weeks before the 2016 Presidential Election, which was a major point of coverage for The Nightly Show. However, the timing ultimately came down to contracts set to expire, so it was either now or much later for the cancellation, and the decision ended up being now.
“@Midnight” to Move to 11:30pm Time Slot for the Time Being
In the interim between the cancellation of The Nightly Show and Comedy Central’s decision to air a new show in that time, the show that traditionally followed it will move up by 30 minutes. @midnight, the improv panel game show hosted by Chris Hardwick, has been receiving better ratings than The Nightly Show, although it is later when traditionally audiences tend to dissipate. Therefore, that show will move up to the 11:30pm timeslot, despite its name implying the contrary, where it will immediately follow The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. With the cancellation of The Nightly Show, Larry Wilmore is another casualty of the recently shifting late night television landscape. As Stephen Colbert is off The Colbert Report and onto Late Night, and Jon Stewart is off the small screen and replaced with Trevor Noah, new faces are popping in such as James Corden, Samantha Bee, and John Oliver. Meanwhile, the biggest players remain the two Jimmys: Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel. In any case, Larry Wilmore still has an exciting career ahead of him, as he remains an executive producer on black-ish on ABC, as well as Insecure on HBO.