While no one is using the word “cancelled,” Comedy Central, Chris Hardwick, and Funny or Die have decided to end the @midnight with Chris Hardwick TV show, with the current, fourth season, which will bow out with its 600th episode. The internet-centric late night talk show features Hardwick leading panelists through a survey of “meme-worthy” topics of the day.
The final week of @midnight with Chris Hardwick will kick off on Monday, July 31, 2017 and conclude with the August 4th episode. Celebrities who have appeared as panelists on the Comedy Central TV series include Judd Apatow, Doug Benson, Jason Biggs, Neal Brennan, Hannibal Buress, LeVar Burton, Ice Cube, Andy Daly, Will Ferrell, Will Forte, James Franco, Ilana Glazer, Seth Green, Jon Hamm, Jonah Hill, Abbi Jacobson, Keegan-Michael Key, Kyle Kinane, David Koechner, Natasha Leggero, Thomas Lennon, Joe Lo Truglio, Marc Maron, Kumail Nanjiani, Patton Oswalt, Jonah Ray, Rob Riggle, Seth Rogen, Kristen Schaal, David Spade, Ben Stiller, Amber Tamblyn, Channing Tatum, Aisha Tyler, Jeff Tweedy, David Wain, Wil Wheaton, and Weird Al Yankovic.
“We took a big macro look and we started having conversations with Chris,” Comedy Central president Kent Alterman said in an interview with Deadline. “We feel incredibly proud of the show, we think it’s had an amazing run. How many shows can say that they’d hit 600 episodes? It was a little bit of the audience telling us over time, and we mutually thought, ‘You know what, maybe we should walk away holding our heads high and proud, full of appreciation and gratitude’.”
What Alterman is likely referring to is the fact that, after a ratings bump following @midnight‘s move from 12 AM to 11:30 PM last August, the show’s numbers have plateaued, while its lead-in, The Daily Show With Trevor Noah, has been trending up. But @midnight has been pretty consistent, averaging between 400,000-490,000 total viewers and between 250,000-300,000 adults 18-49 in each quarter the past two years. Additionally, @midnight has been the youngest and most male-skewing late-night show for most of its run, currently ranking second in lowest median age only behind Viceland newcomer Desus & Mero.
There are no immediate plans for a new Comedy Central weeknight show to air at 12 AM, though I hear that if renewed beyond Labor Day, The President Show, which currently airs at 11:30 PM Thursday, would be a contender for the midnight spot once a week after the Daily Show spin-off starring Jordan Klepper launches in the fall, taking over the 11:30 PM time period Monday-Thursday.
Hardwick also issued a statement to the news outlet, saying:
@midnight has meant the world to me these last four years. It has been a dream to come to work 600 times to make inappropriate jokes about the Internet with my fellow comedian friends. I could not be more proud of this show, staff and crew and at the end of the day, I think we accomplished everything we wanted to accomplish. Spiritually it just feels like it ran its course — I’m not sure we had many more hashtag games in us (which may actually be a relief to anyone whose Twitter feed gets overrun every night).
I owe such a huge debt of gratitude to Comedy Central and Kent for taking a chance on the show, always being great partners and allowing us to exit mutually, which is rarely a gift you are given in this business. I will certainly miss awarding POINTS! to people nightly, so please understand if you see me randomly shouting it at strangers in public after August 4th.
According to the report, there is a chance that Comedy Central may rework the format in the future.
What do you think? Are you a fan of the @midnight with Chris Hardwick TV series? Is it ending at the right time, or should it be renewed for a fifth season on Comedy Central?