Comedy Central Stepped Up to the Diversity Challenge – Welcoming Larry Wilmore to Late Night

A Successor to ‘Colbert’ Is Named – NYTimes.com.

I like watching both the Daily Show and the Colbert Report. I know I’m not supposed to admit it, but it’s where I get my news (them and Twitter). But in the course of the Late Night Wars, with our calls for women and minorities to be able to get in on the action, I hadn’t thought about Comedy Central being the first to fill the gap.

When David Letterman announced his retirement (unable to compete with Jimmy Fallon for the younger demographic he attracts but also just getting up there in age), people were hopeful that someone would allow a PoC or a woman (both would be too much wouldn’t it, Whoopi?) take the reigns. I’m not mad at them picking Stephen Colbert (who I love) and I think he’ll do a great job (well, I’m a little sad we won’t get to see his satirical brilliance anymore), but of course it was a missed opportunity for diversity. But with his spot open, that left the diversity challenge in Comedy Central’s hands and they actually delivered!

Welcome Larry Wilmore to the Late Night bunch! I’ll definitely be watching his show, The Minority Report–a cliched but perfect title for both what it is and before what’s it’s replacing.With Larry Wilmore’s role as “Senior Black Correspondent” on the Daily Show, we already have an idea of what the show will entail, but it also means (hopefully) more black late night writers and more discussions of black issues that the Daily Show doesn’t cover.

The idea for “The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore,” as the show will be known, came from Mr. Stewart himself, who proposed that the 11:30 p.m. time period behind his nightly “Daily Show” was the ideal place for a new format, one that would “provide an opportunity for the underrepresented voices out there,” as Michele Ganeless, the president of Comedy Central said in an interview.

Late night isn’t quite as fickle as prime time and definitely cable isn’t as quick to axe as network, so I think it’ll be around for a while, but I still hope it does well and shatters expectations so that more shows that focus on the black voice will be present in all formats and time-slots of television.

Next up, who will take Craig Ferguson’s Late Late Show spot? Will CBS match or exceed Comedy Central’s ante? Or fall back to business as usual?

The Minority Report will premiere in January on Comedy Central (presumably at 11:30 Mon-Thurs).

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