As networks continue to develop new late night talk shows, the question becomes how many series can be sustained?
In this era of peak TV, we've seen the steady increase of original content as every network and streaming service wants to land a game-changing hit. As we've seen our viewing options balloon up, so too have the amount of people trying to get in on the late night action. What once was an exclusive club of a few network late night talk shows seems to become more and more crowded with each passing week. Last week we discussed Comedy Central's new "Donald Trump" fronted series The President Show (actually led by impressionist Anthony Atamanuik). This week brings two new names to the already cramped party.
The first show belongs to Daily Show correspondent Jordan Klepper, who has been tasked with leading his own nightly series for Comedy Central (clearly not content until all their programing are political talk shows). The series aims to follow in the footsteps of The Colbert Report, by having Klepper utilize his "social media bro" persona for his take on political news. Comedy Central's intentions are definitely clear as the network hopes Klepper will follow in the footsteps of past Daily Show correspondents Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, and Samantha Bee. The other new series belongs to stand up comedian Iliza Shlesinger who's been given a 6-week trial run for a nightly series on Freeform titled, Truth and Iliza. The weekly series beginning in May will mark just the third major late night talk show front by a woman along with Samantha Bee's Full Frontal and the Chelsea Handler fronted Chelsea on Netflix.
While these two new series may be fantastic and innovative additions to the genre, the news leaves me wondering at what point will the late night craze reach it's breaking point. Fueled by both social media's ability to get late night highlights on YouTube to go "viral" and the continuing absurdities of our political climate, everyone seems to be scrambling to launch a new program while they can. With relatively young series like Last Week Tonight and Full Frontal becoming instant successes, seemingly every network is trying to do the same. But this boon also comes with risks as evidenced by the cancellation of Comedy Central's acclaimed, but modestly rated Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. Because of this rush to get a hit view generator, networks are quicker to pull the plug on young promising shows than ever before. Only time will tell how long this craze will last, but at last for the moment you'll have plenty of options to get your late night comedy fix.