Whose Line Is It Anyway Being Shut Down Permanently Over Unfair Allegations?

Colin Mochrie says that he and Whose Line Is It Anyway regulars Ryan Stiles and Wayne Brady are leaving the show because they aren't paid fairly.

By Charlene Badasie | Updated

whose line
Ryan Stiles, Wayne Brady, and Colin Mochrie on Whose Line Is It Anyway?

The comedy series Whose Line Is It Anyway? may be losing its primary cast over refusing to pay them as both performers and writers. The revelation was made by mainstay Colin Mochrie who explained his love/hate relationship with the show in an interview with Vulture. “Everyone is calling this the last taping,” the 65-year-old told the publication.

The future of Whose Line Is It Anyway? came into question in November 2022, when Mochrie tweeted that the series will end with its 20th season. But The CW Network refuted these claims, saying no decision has been made about the next season. This led Mochrie to clarify his statement and elaborate on the pay situation.

“We provide the content but don’t get paid as writers,” he told Vulture. “We never received residuals for a show that’s been shown around the world since its inception.” Mochrie said announcements about the sale of Whose Line Is It Anway? to international markets or streaming services is also frustrating. “I hope I don’t sound bitter because I learned long ago that this business is not fair,” he added.

“And being bitter about it gets you nowhere.” Mochrie also talked about the poor promotion Whose Line Is It, Anyway? receives, saying some fans don’t realize the series is still going. “Every season for the last nine years, we’ve had to remind folks that we are on.” The comedian remains uncertain about his future with the show, saying, “It’s like the Mafia. It keeps pulling us back, so who knows?”

Inspired by the British show of the same name, the American version of Whose Line Is It Anyway? first aired on ABC from 1998 to 2007. The CW revived it in 2013 for its ninth season. While original host Drew Carey was replaced by Aisha Tyler, cast members Colin Mochrie, Wayne Brady, and Ryan Stiles have constantly starred in the improv series. The show has aired 168 episodes in its run on The CW, Variety reports.

whose line is it anyway

Along with its regular performers, Whose Line Is It Anyway? features a fourth seat which is occupied by a guest. Each comedian creates characters, scenes, and songs on the spot, in the style of short-form improvisation games. Topics are based on audience suggestions or predetermined prompts from the host. This then sets up a game and situation that the performers would improvise.

Drew Carey used to award arbitrary point values after each game, with humorous reasons for doing so. It worked because the points were purely decorative and served no real purpose. The host would reiterate this at the beginning of each episode by describing Whose Line Is It Anyway?  as “the show where everything’s made up and the points don’t matter.”

At the end of each episode, a winner was chosen to play a game with the host. The reading of the credits was performed by the cast based on a theme announced by Carey that often derived from a successful joke earlier in the show. New episodes of Whose Line Is It Anyway? will debut on The CW later this year.