After 22 seasons, E! is ending “The Soup,” the cable network announced Wednesday. The final episode will air on Dec. 18, serving as the series finale.
Hosted by Joel McHale for 12 years, the pop culture comedy series has been a staple on E! for more than two decades.
“We are incredibly proud of the long-running success of ‘The Soup,” said Jeff Olde, exec vice president of programming and development for E! “‘The Soup’ has delivered countless laughs and unforgettable episodes, and we are grateful to the talented team’s fearless wit and clever approach week after week. Joel took the show to new heights for more than a decade, and his irreverent humor and unique brand of comedy as captured so perfectly on ‘The Soup’ will be missed.”
“I loved doing ‘The Soup’ for all of these years — 86 to be exact — but am excited to solely focus on my acting career now,” McHale says, adding, “Thanks to all who watched, and thanks to Kim Kardashian’s ass for all that it’s done for me and my family.”
Leading up to the Dec. 18 finale, new episodes will continue to air Friday nights, featuring McHale looking back on the series’ most memorable moments from the past 22 years.
Prior to E!’s announcement of the series coming to an end, McHale had signed an extension deal in October 2014, which kept the comedian hosting “The Soup” through 2016. At the time, McHale said, “I’m thrilled to be working at E! for two more years hosting ‘The Soup.” No word from McHale’s reps or the network on why the original plan was cut short.
The 2014 pact also had McHale’s Free Period Productions company continuing development with E! for non-scripted series. This past summer, the “Community” star exec produced the internet and social media-inspired show “The Comment Section” for E!
Debuting as “Talk Soup,” the fan-favorite show premiered in 1991. Before McHale took charge, the series launched the careers of Greg Kinnear, who hosted from 1991-1995, John Henson, Hal Sparks and Aisha Tyler. In 2004, the show was re-launched as “The Soup” with a star-made host in McHale.
“The Soup” was nominated for an Emmy in 2014, recognized in the category for outstanding short-format live-action entertainment program.
The sarcastic comedy show has welcomed a slew of celebrity guests during its lengthy run, including Norman Reedus, Seth Green, Lucy Lawless, Chris Hardwick, RuPaul, Joe Manganiello, Wendy Williams, Jon Cryer, Joe Jonas, Gabourey Sidibe, Larry King, Kelly Ripa, Allison Janney, James Corden, Jane Lynch, Marilyn Manson, Tyra Banks, Martha Stewart, Nene Leaks, Nancy Grace, George Takei, Chevy Chase, Sean Combs, Eminem, Demi Lovato, Katie Lee Gifford, Anderson Cooper, Andy Cohen, Shaquille O’Neal, Carrot Top and the late Joan Rivers. McHale’s “Community” co-stars have also made many appearances.
“The Soup” hails from Wilshire Studios with McHale serving as an exec producer, along with KP Anderson and Ed Boyd.
The final episode of “The Soup” airs Dec. 18 at 10:00 p.m.