The great minds controlling late night programming have struck again, cutting a show that often dedicated itself to social commentary rather than prioritizing desk bits that focus on bad singing.
The New York Times reports that the last episode of The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore will air on Thursday, and then be replaced by the popular @Midnight, a show that has ruined my Twitter feed. It’s an awkward time to cancel The Nightly Show, given that it has been covering the election with honest and funny observations about politics and race, but it seems like a practical choice for Comedy Central.
Larry Wilmore’s deal with the network was set to expire in a few weeks, and they had to make a decision on whether or not to renew it. They decided the answer was not. In a statement on the cancellation, Wilmore referenced one of his best known segments, “Keep It 100,” specifically his coverage of the beginning of the 2016 campaign cycle back in March of 2015. “The Unblackening” was how Wilmore characterized the GOP’s rush to erase Obama’s time in the White House. He says:
“I’m really grateful to Comedy Central, Jon Stewart, and our fans to have had this opportunity... 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 show apparently struggled with Comedy Central’s favorite demographic, men between the ages of 18 and 24. Though the Trevor Noah-hosted iteration of The Daily Show is not widely celebrated, it supposedly does well with that group. Elsewhere, Jimmy Fallon is crushing ratings and James Corden has become a troubadour chauffeur. Comedy Central president Kent Alterman says they “haven’t addressed” whether or not Larry Wilmmore will be staying with the network, but he does have other projects going on; he’s an executive producer on Issa Rae’s upcoming HBO comedy Insecure, and helped develop ABC’s Blackish.