Comedy Central said it would launch a new late-night series led by “Daily Show” contributor Jordan Klepper starting this fall, in a move that would fill a hole in its schedule present since the network canceled “The Nightly Show” with host Larry Wilmore last August.
Klepper, who may best be known for his sojourns to Trump rallies and events during “The Daily Show,” will enter TV’s late-night wars with a program that takes a skeptical look at institutions and whether or not they are worthy of trust. The show will tap “a hand-picked team of contributors,” the Viacom-owned network said. The series is in the beginning stages of development. Comedy Central did not unveil a title for the program, but said it would follow its flagship “Daily Show” at 11:30 p.m – a move that will presumably move “@midnight,” which has been airing at 11:30, back to its regular time slot at 12 a.m.
Comedy Central announced a development deal with Klepper in March of last year, but at the time suggested he might do a weekly late-night program rather than one that airs multiple nights per week. Comedy Central typically airs its original late-night series Monday through Thursday. The network on Monday said it would launch a new weekly program, “The President Show” on late Thursdays, but did not specify how long that program might continue.
The network’s track record in the late-night arena has been impressive. After seeing “Daily Show” take off under Jon Stewart, the network launched a companion series, “The Colbert Report,” led by Stephen Colbert. In October of 2013, it launched “@midnight” with host Chris Hardwick. The program – a game-show format featuring comedians riffing on the latest memes and social-media phenomena – has also proven successful. In a crowded field of wee-hours contenders, Comedy Central tries to stand out by aiming for young male viewers, particularly those between 18 and 24.
But the cable outlet has faced bumps – with the departures of both Colbert ( for CBS’ “Late Show) and Stewart (retirement) in 2015 proving tough to absorb. Noah’s “Daily Show” has gained traction in linear ratings and some recent critical plaudits as the host continues his tenure.
Klepper got his start in TV working as a comedian on cable’s Big Ten Network during sports-related programming. He has worked with the Second City and Upright Citizens Brigade improv troupes and joined “Daily Show” in 2014. Regular viewers may recall that Klepper filled in as host of the program when Trevor Noah, the regular lead, took a sick day.
The new program will be produced by Klepper, Trevor Noah and Stuart Miller.Sarah Babineau and Ari Pearce are the executives in charge of production for Comedy Central. Klepper is represented by Fred Hashagen at UTA and Kirsten Ames at Kirsten Ames Management.