Comedy Central is saying “good night” to Larry Wilmore.
The cabler has cancelled The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore, with this Thursday’s episode serving as the show’s swan song.
“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,” Comedy Central president Kent Alterman told the New York Times.
“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.”
As the Times notes, Wilmore has been drawing half the ratings of his predecessor, Stepen Colbert (1.7 million versus 776K).
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For the foreseeable future, @midnight will replace The Nightly Show at 11:30, with Trevor Noah’s also-struggling Daily Show staying put at 11 pm. A replacement for Wilmore will be announced sometime next year.
Despite being in the midst of one of the most incendiary election seasons in history, Wilmore’s penetrating commentary — particularly with regard to race relations — failed to cut through the clutter, bemoaned Alterman. “We were hoping that we would get a turnaround along the way including the wild, wild two weeks of the conventions,” he told the Times. “We just haven’t seen it on any level from the general conversation to ratings to any sort of traction on social media platforms.”