Citing poor ratings, Comedy Central has announced that Larry Wilmore’s “Nightly Show” will cease its broadcasts as of August 28. The late-night talk show premiered in January 2015, filling the vacancy left by the departure of Stephen Colbert to CBS. Wilmore sought to examine current events, having brought his experience as “senior black correspondent” on “The Daily Show.”
“The Nightly Show” rendered disappointing results, having never reached the ratings achieved by progressive comedian/commentator Jon Stewart nor his successor Trevor Noah. Despite receiving praise from Comedy Central president Kent Alterman for “crafting a platform for underrepresented voices,” Wilmore appeared to suggest that racism was at the bottom of his show’s cancellation.
In a statement, Wilmore – who is black -- said, “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. … I guess I hadn’t counted on ‘The Unblackening’ happening to my time slot as well.”
Alterman was dismissive of the charge of racism, as he was of any suggestion that a minority host might not be considered to fill the slot vacated by Wilmore.
Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.