The last several weeks have been fraught with renewals, but also plenty of cancelations, leading to disappointed fans of numerous networks. Just when audiences thought they were safe from any more cancelations, TBS has chosen to throw us a curveball. If you are a late night aficionado who happens to love comedian Pete Holmes, TBS dropped the hammer on Friday. The Pete Holmes Show has been cancelled after two seasons.
The Pete Holmes Show was a big part of TBS’ late night block, airing at midnight on the “very funny” network. It was a great fit in the lineup alongside Conan, which airs at 11 p.m. ET (O’Brien is even an executive producer on the show). Unfortunately, even if the two shows fit really well together, Conan O’Brien’s earlier slot and bigger prominence as a celebrity helps the comedian to bring in more impressive ratings that Holmes. Ultimately, TBS told THR that it was the ratings that did The Pete Holmes Show in.
"We recognize Pete as one of the most relevant comedians working today. We loved the show and gave it two chances. We just couldn't draw the audience needed to justify a third round. We hope we'll get to work with him again."
It’s a tough world for ratings right now. An increasing number of at-home viewers prefer to tape TV programs, or watch shows via different outlets like Netflix or HULU. Late night programs are the type of thing that viewers will be more likely to catch live, but the late night market is pretty saturated already. Kimmel, Letterman, Fallon, Ferguson and Daly have the prime spots on network television, but Stewart, Oliver, Cohen and Hardwick have all managed niche audiences on other television stations. It’s a tough market to develop a niche in, and The Pete Holmes Show happened to be losing roughly 350,000 viewers from its Conan lead-in.
Still, it’s probably frustrating for viewers, who developed a nice rhythm with the off-beat comedian who had an unusual take on the genre. Where exactly he’ll go from here is anyone’s guess, but it wouldn’t be a shock to see him back on a different network with an altered format at some point. He’s too talented to simply drift away or even to spend his entire year on the road playing stand-up comedy venues in medium-sized cities across the country.
It’s unclear what TBS will do with Holmes’ timeslot moving forward. It would be nice to pair someone with Conan that could continue the positive mojo he brings, but it’s possible they’ll choose “very funny” re-runs of syndicated comedies during the timeslot.