Late-Night Thriving in Trump Era

by Paige Albiniak  |  04.04.2017

Late-night continues to be hot, with several networks making moves to get in on the post-election action.

This week alone, Comedy Central added two new weekly shows to its roster: The President Show, starring comic and Donald Trump personator Anthony Atamanuik, and a new show starring Daily Show correspondent Jordan Klepper in the 11:30 p.m. slot formerly held by The Colbert Report and The Nightly Show.

“Jordan’s talent has become so increasingly obvious it would take a real fool to not offer him this opportunity,” said Comedy Central President Kent Alterman in a statement.

“The choice to entrust me with the 11:30 p.m. timeslot is both incredibly humbling and deeply disturbing,” said Klepper, also in a statement. “Without a doubt, it has utterly destroyed my confidence in Comedy Central’s decision making acumen. Dear God, now I have to work with these fools.”

RELATED: Comedy Central to Launch ‘The President Show’ in Late Night

AMC last month announced Talking with Chris Hardwick, giving the Nerdist a regular slot on the network beyond his Talking Dead and Talking Saul responsibilities. Meanwhile, Hardwick is becoming a television force, just announcing Tuesday a new six-episode science-focused series with NBC called The Awesome Show, in addition to his hosting duties on the network’s game show, The Wall, which is returning June 22. Hardwick also hosts @midnight on Comedy Central.

RELATED: Chris Hardwick Expanding His Late-Night Talk Franchise on AMC

In broadcast, the late-night wars remain ultra-competitive, with CBS’ Stephen Colbert taking the viewership lead away from NBC’s Jimmy Fallon.

In the week ending March 31, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert beat The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon by 400,000 viewers, extending the show’s lead to nine consecutive weeks. The Late Show averaged nearly 3 million viewers, up 33% compared to the same week last year. Colbert also tied Fallon among late-night’s key demographic of adults 25-54 at a 0.8 rating/4 share, also up 33% from last year. Among adults 18-49, Fallon still led by a tenth of a point, but Colbert was up 25% to a 0.5/3.

CBS’ The Late Late Show with James Corden also announced on Tuesday that the show would shoot three shows in Corden’s hometown of London at Central Hall Westminster on June 6-8.

“To bring The Late Late Show to London is a dream come true for me,” said James Corden. “I’m incredibly proud of the show and we’re going to do our best to make this week in London memorable.”

The Late Late Show also will air on the UK’s Sky June 7-9 at 10 p.m. on Sky 1 and Now TV.

Meanwhile, NBC’s Saturday Night Live will air four live episodes in a row to close out its season, with SNL vet Fallon hosting on April 15, followed by Chris Pine on May 6, Melissa McCarthy on May 13, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson on the season finale May 20.

RELATED: ‘Saturday Night Live’ Wrapping Season With Nationwide Live Telecasts

NBC also plans to make use of SNL this summer, with Weekend Update hosts Michael Che and Colin Jost getting a limited primetime run in August with four half-hour broadcasts.

[Image of Stephen Colbert courtesy of CBS via The Hollywood Reporter]

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