David Spade, the comedian once famous for delivering the “Hollywood Minute” during the “Weekend Update” segment on “Saturday Night Live,” will devote considerably more time going forward to the Viacom-owned network, where he will later this year launch a new late-night series that will follow the network’s flagship “Daily Show.” At 11:30, Spade will go head to head with opening monologues from NBC’s Jimmy Fallon, CBS’ Stephen Colbert and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel.
The series marks the first time in years the network hasn’t sought to follow “The Daily Show” with talent that initially came to light in that landmark program. In recent years, Comedy Central has stocked 11:30 with Stephen Colbert, Larry Wilmore and Jordan Klepper, all of whom first rose to greater renown interacting with either former “Daily” host Jon Stewart or current one Trevor Noah.
It’s also the first time that Comedy Central won’t deliberately set out to focus on political themes and national affairs in the time slot (to be sure, the social-media centered “@midnight” took up residence there for a while). The network found great success with the long-running “The Colbert Report,” which aired after Jon Stewart’s “Daily Show” between 2005 and 2014. Since that time, however, Comedy Central has had less luck. Two other 11:30 p.m. programs, “The Nightly Show” and, more recently, “The Opposition,” did not prove sustainable despite positive notices for each.
Spade is expected to focus on other areas of discussion, offering a “signature take on the pop culture news of the day,” according to the network. The program, which yet to be titled and will include a rotating group of celebrities and comedians. With this choice, Spade and Comedy Central will be moving against the current grain. Many of the newest offerings in late-night tend to center around national news and a news cycle driven by President Donald Trump.
The most-watched late-night show on TV, CBS’ “The Late Show,”” has seen its viewership surge as its host tilts nightly at the Trump administration’s latest feints and foibles. TBS’ “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” trades heavily in political satire,” as does HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” with John Oliver. Comedy Central’s last late-night entry was “The President Show,” which featured comedian Anthony Atamanuik doing a surreal take of President Trump leading a late-night program from the Oval Office.
It’s not Spade’s first time with Comedy Central. His “Showbiz Show with David Spade” was a weekly program that made fun of celebrity-news programs like “Access Hollywood” or “Entertainment Tonight,” and lasted for three seasons between 2005 and 2007. Spade has worked steadily since leaving “SNL” in 1996, first in comedy movies with fellow “SNL” alum Chris Farley, and then in TV series like “Just Shoot Me” and “Rules of Engagement.”
The new series will be executive produced by Spade, Alex Murray and Marc Gurvitz. Brad Wollack and Tom Brunelle of Free 90 Media will serve as executive producers and showrunners.