Time is ticking away for “@midnight,” the innovative late-night program hosted by Chris Hardwick that has aired on Comedy Central since 2013. The Viacom-owned cable network is ending the show, marking the latest shift to its late-night lineup.
“Comedy Central and Chris Hardwick have mutually agreed the August 4th episode of ‘@midnight’ will be the series finale,” the network said in a statement. In all, the program lasted four seasons, 600 episodes and umpteen instances of Hardwick acknowledging respect for a guest’s comment by offering “Points!”
The decision comes as the network is expected to launch a new 11:30 p.m. program hosted by former “Daily Show” contributor Jordan Klepper. At one time, Comedy Central boasted three late-night programs: “Daily Show,” “Colbert Report,” and “@midnight.” The Hardwick-led program proved intriguing and durable, capturing interest with comedian guests bantering about social-media phenomenon and lasting as Comedy Central transitioned from Colbert to the Larry Wilmore-led “Nightly Show” and worked its way through the aftermath of that program’s demise. The show also drew a good chunk of male viewers in their late teens and twenties.
“People have a singular perception of late night” formed by watching decades of monologues, comedy bits and celebrity palaver, said Hardwick in a 2015 interview with Variety. “We are ready to shatter that with our show.”
In recent months, Viacom has been reorganizing its holdings under a new CEO, Bob Bakish, who has placed more emphasis on programming concepts that can be deployed in multiple markets around the world.
Until Klepper’s program debuts -presumably in the fall – Comedy Central will boast just one regular late-night program, though it is slated to continue airing “The President Show,” starring comedian Anthony Atamanuik as President Trump, on Thursday nights. The network in June launched a new weekly late-night series led by Jim Jeffries, who tackles topics related to politics and culture while traveling around the world.
Hardwick may have found himself stretched thin. The comedian, who leads Nerdist Industries, a content company, also hosts top-rated aftershows for AMC’s “Walking Dead” and “Better Call Saul” as well as “The Wall” an NBC game show.
Deadline previously reported Comedy Central’s decision to halt production of the show.