If you watched @midnight on Comedy Central, then this isn’t news to you, as Chris Hardwick shared the good news during the episode. (“Points!”) But for the rest of us, Comedy Central announced this week that they’ve picked up Hardwick’s late-night game show(ish) series for additional episodes, which will air starting January when The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report come back from their end-of-year hiatus.
Comedy Central has given the series a 40-week order — that’s 40 weeks, not episodes folks, which is a lot of @midnight! — which will firmly establish the series as “late-night’s newest hit” according to Comedy Central’s release. @midnight is hosted by Chris Hardwick and features three different comedians in each episode, each trying to out-funny each other when coming up with fast answers and jokes in response to Hardwick’s questions, most of which relate to internet buzz — trending topics on Twitter, viral videos, general internet chatter etc. Hardwick throws “points” at them for their answers, but there’s sort of a Whose Line Is It Anyway tone to the competition, in that the real value of the show is in the laughs, not the scores or the ultimate winner of the episode.
Watch Hardwick’s announcement during last night’s episode below:
Hardwick also commented in Comedy Central’s statement:
“I don't have adequate words to express how excited I am that we are going to be a fixture of late-night in 2014. Huge thanks to the amazing teams at Funny Or Die, Serious Business, and Tom Lennon and Ben Garant. They've made this process one of the most rewarding and fun experiences of my life. Finally, to the fantastic folks at Comedy Central, I say, POINTS!!!”
It’s not all that unfitting that there would be a Seacrest joke in Hardwick’s announcement, as the guy seems to have no shortage of jobs, much like American Idol host Ryan Seacrest, who’s a little bit everywhere these days as well. For Hardwick, much of his work is geek-centered, with podcasts and other TV hosting gigs, including The Walking Dead post-ep talk show Talking Dead. He also hosted Talking Bad for the final half of the last season of Breaking Bad. And just try to go to Comic-Con and not end up at a panel he’s hosting. The man really is everywhere, and now it seems he’s got a steady gig at Comedy Central.
Turning the internet into talk show fodder is something Comedy Central has already dabbled in, as Tosh.0 has had success making comedy out of viral videos. @midnight seems to be doing that in its own way, serving as a commentary on the Twitterverse in the form of a game show. It’s a format that appeals to a younger demographic. In fact, Comedy Central says The Daily Show, The Colbert Report and @midnight are the most-watched late-night series across all of television among men 18-34 and men 18-24. And @midnight is the most talked about late-night series in social media, with over one billion total impressions on Twitter since it’s premiere. Given how vital social networking is becoming for TV shows, that’s an impressive and promising feat. So news of the series’ renewal seems like a given, but it’s work celebrating nonetheless if you’ve been enjoying Hardwick’s ramblings and his contestants’ snappy comebacks.
@midnight airs weeknights on Comedy Central @midnight.