“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart’s” Larry Wilmore has been tapped to host “The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore,” a new Comedy Central show to air in the 11:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday timeslot currently occupied by soon-to-be “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert.
“The Minority Report” premieres in January and promises to “offer a comedic look at news, current events and pop culture from unique perspectives not typically on display in late night television.” It was created by Jon Stewart and will be produced by Stewart’s Busboy Prods., with Stewart and Wilmore serving as exec producers.
The selection of the African-American Wilmore breaks up the white-male homogeneity to most of latenight TV. The lack of diversity in the latenight talk-variety show arena has been in focus in recent months amid the generational shift of hosts at NBC (where Jimmy Fallon took over “The Tonight Show” from Jay Leno in February) and CBS (where Colbert is to succeed David Letterman next year).
“We are thrilled to be expanding our relationship with Jon Stewart and Busboy Productions, and are looking forward to the world getting to know Larry Wilmore even better. He’s a spectacular talent in front of and behind the camera,” said Michele Ganeless, Comedy Central prexy. “‘The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore’ follows in the Comedy Central tradition – bringing new perspectives to the day’s events and breaking ground in the world of late night television.”
Wilmore is currently the “senior black correspondent” on “The Daily Show.” He’s also an experienced showrunner, comedian and actor who was in line to be showrunner of a new comedy that ABC just picked up, “Black-ish,” starring Anthony Anderson. It appears that Wilmore will stay with “Black-ish” for the time being to get the show up and running before shifting his focus to “Minority Report.”
“While Larry Wilmore is a brilliant comic and showrunner, this is all just a complicated ruse to get him to move to New York and turn him into a Knicks fan,” said Stewart.
Wilmore, who grew up around Los Angeles and lives in California, responded by saying “I’m beyond excited to have this chance to continue my relationships with Comedy Central and the brilliant Jon Stewart. I love the city of New York and promise to only wear my Laker T-shirts when I’m layering.”
Wilmore started as an actor and standup before transitioning to writing and producing. He won an Emmy for writing the pilot episode of “The Bernie Mac Show” and penned the 2009 book “I’d Rather We Got Casinos and Other Black Thoughts.” He also received a Peabody Award and a Humanitas Prize for his work with “Bernie Mac.” He hosted the 2012 Showtime series “Larry Wilmore’s Race, Religion & Sex.”
Comedy Central moved quickly to line up a successor for “The Colbert Report” after CBS announced in April that Colbert had been chosen as the next “Late Show” host. “Colbert Report” has been a strong companion for “The Daily Show” in the 11:30 p.m. slot since 2005. Speculation had centered on Comedy Central tapping a “Daily Show”-groomed personality to fill Colbert’s shoes.
Wilmore is repped by UTA, 3 Arts, and Tom Hoberman.