It’s the end of a short-lived era.
The New York Times reports that Comedy Central has made the sudden decision to cancel The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore after only 18 months. And it gets worse: The final show will air on Thursday.
“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 haven’t seen evidence of it happening,” Comedy Central president Kent Alterman told the Times.
Nielsen reports reveal that The Nightly Show’s ratings have been on the steady decline since Wilmore took over (in its final season, The Colbert Report was attracting 1.7 million, but The Nightly Show’s viewership maxed out at 922,000).
“We were hoping that we would get a turnaround along the way, including the wild, wild two weeks of the conventions,” Alterman said. “We just haven’t seen it on any level from the general conversations to ratings to any sort of traction on social media platforms."
Network execs say they informed Wilmore of their decision last week, and it is unclear whether or not he will join another Comedy Central project.
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“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.”
Neither did we, Larry!