NBC and Lilly Singh will end her late-night program, “A Little Late With Lilly Singh,” after two years, the latest sign that TV networks are rethinking how to handle a widening array of wee-hours programs while viewing habits shift.
Singh has signed a first-look deal with Universal Television Alternative Studio, a division of Universal Studio Group, to develop unscripted projects. She also heads Unicorn Island Productions, and intends to focus on projects under that banner. “A Little Late” airs weeknights at 1:35 a.m., following “Tonight” with Jimmy Fallon and “Late Night” with Seth Meyers. NBC did not immediately announce whether another program would replace Singh’s, but the network is believed to be considering options other than talk shows.
“I have a desire to make longer form content telling underrepresented stories, which is difficult to execute on a nightly show,” Sigh said in a statement. Among her new efforts are a comedy project with Netflix in which she will star. It is executive produced by Kenya Barris and his Khalabo Ink Society, along with writers/executive producers Nell Scovell and Diya Mishra.
NBC is the latest network to recalibrate its late-night line-up in recent months. Conan O’Brien, who is the longest-serving of TV’s current late-night crop, is slated to end his “Conan” on TBS in June after more than a decade on the air. Comedy Central, which at one time boasted three different half-hour programs, has recently bet more heavily on its “Daily Show,” hosted by Trevor Noah. The program was expanded to 60 minutes from its traditional half-hour running time. The ViacomCBS outlet no longer runs a companion program once Noah signs off.
NBC in February announced plans to test “The Amber Ruffin Show,” a comedy-talk show made for its Peacock streaming service, on a handful of Friday nights on the broadcast network in place of repeats of “A Little Late.”
Singh came to wider renown on YouTube, and in an interview with Variety in 2020, acknowledged that the transition from the streaming medium to the broadcast one can be a challenge. “I got my start on YouTube, but I grew up with TV and I grew up with stars. When I got my late-night show of course, TV is a big crew. When I went in, there was definitely a struggle. There was a crew, so many people behind the script and so many people telling me what punchline was funniest,” she said. “It definitely challenged me to kind of mesh these two worlds together.”
Singh’s program replaced the long-running “Last Call,” hosted by Carson Daly. That program, which launched in 2002, initially relied on in-studio interviews, but over time began to feature pre-recorded segments with the host on location with a guest or musician.