Larry Wilmore’s The Nightly Show was canceled earlier this year, having not found the audience Comedy Central was looking for in the time slot vacated by The Colbert Report.
The comedian has been without a TV foothold in the aftermath, although he does serve as an executive producer for Black-ish, ABC’s Anthony Anderson sitcom. That relationship with ABC has led to Wilmore reportedly signing a new deal with ABC to develop shows, which sounds like a dream scenario for any comedian or writer.
Via The AV Club:
But, for now at least, Wilmore is both bravely walking outside and gainfully employed, as ABC Studios has just signed him up for a multi-year overall deal to develop new shows and talent. Wilmore has a long history with ABC that began when he was just a writer on Sister, Sister; he’s since served as an executive producer on the network’s Black-ish, which he co-created and was all set to help run before Comedy Central offered him Stephen Colbert’s former slot, only to take it away after 19 months.
Wilmore is certainly a talented comedian, and has also acted in the past; it’s possible he could return to an on-screen role at some point in the future. As with Trevor Noah’s version of The Daily Show, attempting to fill the shoes of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert in the 11 PM block on Comedy Central was never going to be easy. Wilmore has a different brand of humor, and a very different presence.
Whether that works better in a network setting remains to be seen, of course. And, also, network television is always a crapshoot these days, although ABC’s sitcoms have done well, critically and commercially, from Modern Family onward.
In any case, it’s good news for audiences, as people as talented as Wilmore aren’t exactly in abundance.