Comedy Central is plotting a move that will increase the cable channel’s presence in late-night by one-third.
It’s the introduction of a new half-hour late-night show that will extend Comedy Central’s reach in late-night TV to 12:30 a.m. (eastern time), according to this story on the Deadline.com Web site. The story was corroborated for XfinityTV by another source.
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The Deadline story says comedian Chris Hardwick will host the show, which does not yet have a name. Set to premiere next fall, the show is being co-produced by Hardwick and the folks at Funny-or-Die. The Deadline story describes the show as “a comedic panel show that will have a heavy social-media presence integrated throughout.”
Comedy Central’s expansion of its late-night block into the midnight-12:30 time period represents a logical extension of its already successful presence in late-night with “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” at 11 eastern and “The Colbert Report” at 11:30.
Like those two shows, this new one will air Monday through Thursday. However, based on the principals involved, it seems doubtful the new show will rely as heavily on media and political topics as do “Colbert” and “Stewart.”
The new show means late-night is due to become ever more crowded with talk shows, continuing a trend that’s been going on for several years. Also due to debut in late-night this year: The new TBS entry hosted by comedian Pete Holmes, starting in July following “Conan,” and next fall, the return of Arsenio Hall with a new syndicated late-night show.