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With all the shake-ups happening in the world of late night talk shows, it’s not surprising that there would be a failure in the bunch, though this one sadly got canned before getting a chance to do anything. Former Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson had plans to bring his good-natured comedy to audiences with another talk show of a different nature, but it looks like negotiations have fallen through before anything was set in stone. Lame move, Tribune Media.
Back in August, four months after he first announced that he would be leaving The Late Late Show, it was revealed Ferguson was moving forward with a Tribune Media-produced syndicated talk show, also with a daily schedule planned. Expected to premiere in the fall of 2016, the series would have also featured Ferguson’s robot sidekick Geoff (along with voice actor Josh Robert Thompson), his pantomime horse pal Secretariat, and showrunner Michael Naidus, none of whom Ferguson wished to part with. But like Secretariat’s mane, it’s all in the wind at this point.
According to Deadline’s sources, the deal fell through for several reasons. One of them was a problem getting stations cleared in non-Tribune markets, and that numbers discussions between Tribune and Sinclair Broadcasting were full of issues, with no agreements made in the end. Both companies push Ferguson’s other syndicated gig, the game show Celebrity Name Game, which seemed like a good lead-in for the Scotsman getting this project off the ground as well.
It was somewhat surprising that the excellent Late Late Show finale came and went with still no news of the new series, but I guess now we know why that was. While I won’t name any names, it’s shameful how many uncharismatic people get hired to host their own daily shows, while the always genial and hilarious Ferguson gets the runaround. While it’s vaguely possible that someone else would step in and bring this show to fruition, it’s not likely.
Oddly enough, one of the last times that a comedian had a syndicated talk show deal fall through, it involved Craig Kilborn and his Fox project The Kilborn Files. Kilborn, of course, was the host of the Late Late Show before Ferguson got on board. Tribune was also the company behind Arsenio Hall’s recent return to late night, and that show ended up getting canceled after one season despite getting a second season renewal. I’m going to have a grain of salt handy the next time Tribune hooks up with any funny people.
Meanwhile, The Late Late Show is currently in its first week of guest hosts, which will continue until permanent host James Corden takes over on March 23. Do you guys miss Ferguson yet?