Comedy Central cancels ‘The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore’

Comedy Central has canceled Larry Wilmore’s topical-comedy roundtable “The Nightly Show.”

“Production on ‘The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore’ will cease after its August 18 episode,” the cable network said in a statement Monday. “We thank Larry and ‘The Nightly Show’ staff for their tireless efforts across the past two years and the conversations the show generated by addressing social issues of great importance to the country, always challenging people’s attitudes, perceptions and bias.”

“Even as the show has evolved creatively . . . it hasn’t seemed to connect with our audience, which is disconcerting and disappointing to us,” Comedy Central president Kent Alterman told USA Today. He told TheWrap.com, “It is really sad for us because we not only respect and value Larry, we really have such affection for him and what he’s been doing,” adding that, “Unfortunately, it hasn’t been translating to our audience.”

The industry trade site said the show’s roughly 100 employees were told Monday morning. Wilmore, Alterman said, “could not have been more of a gentleman and exhibited more graciousness.”

The program, which premiered Jan. 19, 2015, and follows “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” was not performing well “both in the linear channel and in terms of multi-platform outlets and with shareable content and on social platforms as well,” Alterman told The Hollywood Reporter.

Wilmore said in a statement, “I’m really grateful to Comedy Central, [executive producer] 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 [honest], I guess I hadn’t counted on ‘The Unblackening’ happening to my time slot as well.”

Chris Hardwick’s “@midnight,” which has a larger audience than “The Nightly Show,” will shift a half-hour earlier, to 11:30 p.m. for the next several months.