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The Weird Reason The Colbert Report's Replacement Had To Change Its Name

We’ve known for quite some time that Larry Wilmore was going to be taking over for Stephen Colbert on Comedy Central. His show is set to hit the schedule on January 19, but the upcoming program about current events and pop culture announced a pretty big name change, going from The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore to the less amusing The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. What’s the culprit? Fox’s new Minority Report pilot, based on the hit movie of the same name.

The Minority Report pilot is fairly high profile, and having a similar name was apparently a nightmare on social media. Here’s what Wilmore had to say during the show’s TCA press tour.

“It became a bit of the mess… Even if you’re tweeting or on Tumblr, you always have to refer to that long title [or] somebody would sue you.”

As a result, the creative team realized they had a headache on their hands, so the show switched from The Minority Report to The Nightly Show, which does have a nice enough ring to it. According to EW, Wilmore says the new title actually works out pretty well:

“The show gets to define what it is.”

Larry Wilmore’s show was actually announced last May, several months before the Minority Report TV project was pitched in August. So, it stands to reason that the Comedy Central project might take precedence, especially since we don’t know if the Fox project will ever move forward to series, and if it does, how long it will even last. (We all know Fox’s record with science fiction shows.) However, the sci fi adventure Minority Report does have some claim to the name, since it is based on a 2002 movie starring Tom Cruise that most movie fans recognize.

So, it’s a classy and smart move for Comedy Central to have backed down just in case Fox’s Minority Report does move forward. The network is fixing the problem before it even becomes a problem, and can focus more on the quality of the show than the confusing nature of social media. Although it is worth noting that this is one of the big times social media has had a direct effect on a TV series.

If you are interested in catching the former Daily Show correspondent in action, you can tune in to The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore on January 19. Be sure to check out other midseason premiere and return dates here.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.