A Hugely Popular Talk Show Is Returning To Late Night
Stephen Colbert is producing a revival of the show At Midnight for NBC.
CBS is getting rid of The Late Late Show with James Corden and replacing it with the former Comedy Central classic, at midnight (@midnight). Deadline reports that Late-night favorite Stephen Colbert is producing the at midnight revival. The show will air at 12:30 am, the current timeslot of the soon-to-be-late Late Late Show putting the almost three-decade-old franchise out of its misery.
At midnight originally aired on Comedy Central on weeknights at … midnight. It ran for 600 episodes from 2013 to 2017. The Emmy-winning at midnight was canceled despite being a ratings hit for Comedy Central due to its lack of political discourse at a time when every late-night talk show was full of Trump jokes and not much else. We would imagine that Stephen Colbert is going to bring in a new version of at midnight that will be far more successful.
The apolitical nature of the show may work in its favor this time around, especially with Stephen Colbert producing. While entertaining, Donald Trump’s polarizing antics have left the general public sick of politics, and in need of some silly fun, something at midnight excels.
The show’s original format was three contestants that were usually comedians, answering questions based on social media posts, and the host, also a comedian, would assign an arbitrary number of points for each correct answer. At midnight was more about watching a bunch of comedians cracking wise about current events than a proper gameshow. More Who’s Line Is It Anyway? than Jeopardy!
Stephen Colbert’s decision to produce the late-night series brings The Late Show host one step closer to being a full-fledged television mogul. The fantasy enthusiast is also an executive producer on Tooning Out the News and Hell of a Week with Charlamagne Tha God, both for Comedy Central. Having Stephen Colbert produce the show that follows him harkens back to when David Letterman hosted The Late Show and did the exact same thing.
Original at midnight host Chris Hardwick is not expected to return for the reboot, and we would love to see Stephen Colbert take over, though he is only set to produce. Hardwick’s career took a nosedive after allegations of sexual assault and emotional abuse were brought against the comedian by former partner Chloe Dykstra. Baggage that CBS no doubt doesn’t want to be associated with for their Late Late Show replacement.
CBS has been looking for a replacement for the departing Corden since the host announced plans to leave the network. George Cheeks, President and CEO of CBS, has been searching specifically for something that will cost roughly half what CBS spends now on the Late Late Show. The network is also hoping the new show will draw in a slightly younger crowd than Corden’s boomer-courting talk show.
If the new at midnight is successful, it could change the landscape of late-night programming, especially for Stephen Colbert. The hours of 11 pm to 2 am have long been associated with a specific formula, a host does a monologue, plays some games, and interviews celebrities. The more game-show-like format of at midnight could prove to be a major shakeup of the familiar formula.
If Stephen Colbert’s at midnight takes off, expect to see other networks scrambling to fill their late-night slots with something similar. There are reports that NBC is already changing up their programming schedule by doing away with the 10 pm scripted dramas that usually lead into the late-night block. Could the move lead to a more unconventional choice for NBC’s late-night talk show lineup?