The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore is no more. Comedy Central has made the decision to cancel the show after a year and a half on the air.
The cancellation comes just a few months before one of the most drama-filled election seasons of recent memory, which the show extensively covered for its viewers. Wilmore commented on the cancellation in a statement, according to Deadline.
“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,” Wilmore said. “And keeping it 100, I guess I hadn’t counted on ‘The Unblackening’ happening to my time slot as well.”
Comedy Central president Kent Alterman claims that, while the timing is unfortunate, this is purely a business decision and he thanked Wilmore and his staff for their contributions.
“They really have been doing great work in terms of creating a stable of contributors who fill the show with comedy bits and takes on what’s going on — all driven by Larry’s very strong and unique point of view,” Alterman said. “But unfortunately, it hasn’t been resonating. It’s been struggling for quite a while as far as connecting with our audience. We stuck with it for a year and a half but ultimately we didn’t feel that we saw enough traction to justify doing another year.”
The show will receive one more week on the air, with this Thursday’s episode being its last. While in its late night spot following The Daily Show, which has also dropped in ratings since Trevor Noah took over from Jon Stewart, The Nightly Show has seen its own ratings drop and become stagnant since its first episode when it opened to an audience of nearly 1 million viewers.
This cancellation brings an end to an era where two black men came on back-to-back during primetime hours to provide political commentary and comedy. Hopefully, whatever fills the spot left by Wilmore’s departure will keep in line with Comedy Central’s attempts to embrace diversity.
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