Why Larry Wilmore Was Surprised When The Nightly Show Was Cancelled

It's never easy to have a TV show get cancelled, and now that Larry Wilmore is adjusting to the idea of The Nightly Show ending, he's let us in on why the cancellation was so surprising for him.

They took me to a Chinese restaurant and gave me a fortune cookie and said, 'No, no, no. Open it, open it.' And I was like "What?" I opened it and it said, 'You're cancelled,' and I was like, 'What?!' ... Umm, I was very surprised that we would only have four shows left. I thought we would at least be on through the election.

Ah, yeah, that would totally suck. Larry Wilmore has said his season technically ends at the start of the year (in January), so he probably didn't see his cancellation coming this week, even if the ratings for his series weren't so great. In addition, because of the way his show's calendar schedule has worked, the man was obviously excited about doing a lot of material related to the upcoming election. However, now his schedule is going to be wide open when it should be one of the busiest times of his career.

Larry Wilmore spoke to Vulture about why the cancellation of his show caught him completely off guard. Now, the first part of his comment, is clearly his way of joking around; there's pretty much no way that the bigwigs at Comedy Central set up a fortune cookie cancellation announcement for The Nightly Show. Not that I don't believe that they would think of something like that, I just think your average network honchos are too busy to actually attend the meal where that announcement would take place. What would be the point of putting it in a note if you're going to be there anyway, right?

I can see this as a good way for Larry Wilmore to explain how shocking the news was when it came down on Monday that the show had been axed, and that their last episode would take place tonight, not even giving the show the opportunity to finish reporting on the upcoming election. It's got to be a major bummer for everyone involved with The Nightly Show to have to end the series at all, not to mention to have to end it with a few months left before the election, which had, obviously, become a major part of the show since it focuses on the news. Wilmore probably won't even be able to turn off what must be the constant political commentary in his head; he'll have no opportunity to wind it down.

People have enjoyed Larry Wilmore since his days as a correspondent on The Daily Show, and his talk show has been praised in general for even-handed political coverage and bringing diverse voices to the forefront. But, ever since taking over The Colbert Report timeslot in January 2015, the show hasn't been able to repeat those ratings, and actually lost quite a bit of ground, especially once Jon Stewart left its lead-in, The Daily Show. Plus, the panel format of the show, which took up a lot of most episodes, was seen as one of the weak points of the show.

Well, it's too bad that The Nightly Show couldn't have stuck around for the rest of the highs and lows of the political campaigns. It's actually possible that the closer we got to November, the higher the ratings might have gotten. Hopefully, the diverse voices of The Nightly Show, including Larry Wilmore, will be around again before too long.

Adrienne Jones
Senior Content Creator

Covering The Witcher, Outlander, Virgin River, Sweet Magnolias and a slew of other streaming shows, Adrienne Jones is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend, and started in the fall of 2015. In addition to writing and editing stories on a variety of different topics, she also spends her work days trying to find new ways to write about the many romantic entanglements that fictional characters find themselves in on TV shows. She graduated from Mizzou with a degree in Photojournalism.