All Articles Tagged "The Colbert Report"
Everyone knew that Stephen Colbert’s would be big shoes to fill. With a loyal fan base and a clever, biting humor unlike anything we’ve ever seen in late-night television, it’s to be expected that anyone taking up the 11:30 time slot would have an uphill battle to climb.
That has proven to be true for Larry Wilmore, whose new program The Nightly Show premiered on January 19. Nielsen numbers show that Nightly is capturing 417,000 viewers from the 18-to-49-year-old demographic. That’s compared to 683,000 for Colbert, a 39 percent decline.
And for the 25-to-54 age group, there’s been a similar decline of 37 percent, from 577,000. For the three-month period, the decline is 38 percent from 1.24 million.
The decline appears to have been a progressive slide. On March 30, The Wall Street Journal was reporting that Nightly was getting 75 percent of Colbert’s audience.
“In the key 18-49 year-old demographic, which advertisers pay a premium to reach, Mr. Wilmore has averaged 443,000 viewers versus Mr. Colbert’s 644,000,” the WSJ wrote.
Both Colbert and Wilmore came from The Daily Show; Wilmore was the senior Black correspondent. Having watched the show, there are some similarities between all of them: they each tackled the news of the day and, in some way, how it’s being covered in the news. Unlike the other programs, however, Wilmore spends half the show on a roundtable discussion with a number of guests on a selected topic. (Colbert and Jon Stewart usually sit with one guest to talk about a book or project they’re working on.)
We’ve been tuning in on and off since the debut and it looks like the number of roundtable participants has been reduced from four to three, a good move. There were simply too many people to get a word in during the 15 minutes allotted.
But the program also doesn’t seem to be generating the same number of laughs that the other two shows do. A little more time spent with Wilmore and (sorry to say it) a better crop of comedians and writers might help. Jessica Williams, Samantha Bee, Aasif Mandvi… that’s a tough act to follow. Wilmore himself is sharp, but the discussions don’t amount to anything substantive or particularly telling in the same way that those other two programs do. Or the way Last Week Tonight has been doing over on HBO. That program is hosted by John Oliver who doesn’t even use very many props, but his takedowns and explanations of some pretty esoteric topics — from the evils of payday loans to the half-truths told by the group behind the Miss America content — have gone viral.
Are you tuning in to The Nightly Report? Thoughts?
Stephen Colbert is shooting The Colbert Report from Washington DC this week. And he’s got enough juice to get the Leader of the Free World, President Barack Obama, to stop by for a visit. Last night, the President took over one of Colbert’s segments, “The Word,” which he called “The Decree” because it’s more his style, and used it as an opportunity to poke fun at himself, the opposition he faces and Obamacare.
We know from his appearances on things like “Between Two Ferns” that the President is a funny guy. So naturally, he killed in the comedy portion of the show.
Then he came back for the interview portion, touching on a number of things from the midterm elections to the jobs situation. Time and again, Colbert pointed out that the President has navigated us out of the worst recession since The Great Depression, increased jobs (not to mention killing Osama bin Laden, worked to end yearslong wars we’ve been involved with, taken baby steps toward environmental conservation and gotten the ball rolling on long overdue immigration reform). But even with the accomplishments and the platform to talk them up, the President brought up an issue that we’ve also talked about here on the Business page: though more jobs are being created every month, wages are stagnant. Without higher wages, households individually and the economy as a whole can’t thrive.
Here’s the second portion of the President’s appearance. And you can click here to get the latest info on the unemployment rate and jobs numbers.
And here’s the second part:
Some things are so great, so classic, so epic that they don’t need to be repeated. That wasn’t the case with these incredible spin-offs. From “Family Matters” to “Melrose Place,” television has seen some wonderful follow-ups that made us laugh, made us cry, and made us fall head over heels in love with some very special characters, like they were the originals. Check out this list of the most amazing spin-offs to ever grace out TV screens.
Quick, tell me who was the guest on last night’s episode of TJ Holmes’ comedy news program, “Don’t Sleep”?
Don’t feel bad if you don’t know because I don’t either. I don’t have television, let alone cable, so that’s my excuse. And since nobody has been giving me the minute by minute rundown of the show via Facebook like they do an episode of “Scandal,” I assume that most people haven’t been checking for it either.
A little over a month old, “Don’t Sleep,” which from its description reads like a black version of “The Daily Show,” has been struggling in the viewership department. Although its premiere episode had people excited for BET’s newest addition into the more newsy side of black entertainment, the show has failed to connect with viewers, and its ratings have dropped significantly from a high of 1 million views to as low as 203,000 views. As a result, “Don’t Sleep” will now be reduced down to an hour once a week, instead of its current nightly schedule.
Debra Lee, chief executive officer for BET, reportedly told The Grio, “To be honest, the ratings haven’t been great in the past two weeks. Our audience always says they want this kind of programming, but they don’t show up.” This is certainly not a good sign for Holmes, who left his cushy job at CNN to make a name for himself at BET.
Maybe Lee does have a point. It certainly seems that despite black folks’ public declaration and demands that BET show more positive and informative programming, we are just not tuning in and bringing the numbers needed to make such programming sustainable. The only conclusion I can deduct is that we just love the ratchetness. Just admit it: there is something entertaining and appealing about watching grown women in leopard-print platform heels with faces beat to Maybelline heaven, arguing and occasionally fist fighting over, “You don’t know me,” or the rebuttal of, “Naw, don’t get it twisted, you don’t know me!” It’s melodramatic, full of fantasy (i.e. money, big houses, Louboutins, marital statuses, etc…), ridiculously immoral and a little unprincipled. For the most part, good reality television shows are a lot like daytime soap operas. And everybody knows daytime soap operas are the definition of ratchetness, just without all the reality.
Likewise, despite the ire that most television shows featuring black characters have received from the community for their stereotypical portrayals of us, there is no denying that many of “us” still tune in regularly every week for the foolish and the salacious on television. This is why shows like “Scandal,” which is basically a scripted show about ratchetness going down in Washington, and most reality television shows, which are straight up and down ratchetness, leads the pack in ratings in black households. According to the numbers at Target Market News, VH1 remains the most watched cable network in black households, thanks to shows like “T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle,” “Chrissy & Mr. Jones” and “Basketball Wives: LA.” All those shows are based around what some folks would describe as ratchet people (aside from T.I. and his lady…maybe). Coincidence?
This doesn’t seem like a good sign for a black news show that hails itself as a black version of “The Daily Show.” Not only does “Don’t Sleep,” which airs in the 11 p.m. EST slot, have fewer ratings than “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report,” but it is also trailing behind reruns of “Family Guy” and some show called “Duck Dynasty” (I just Googled it and all I got to say is what the hell kind of hillbilly nonsense are you watching America?). Even Andy Cohen’s “Watch What Happens: Live,” which is a talk show based around replaying everything that happened on an Andy Cohen-produced ratchet reality shows you just watched, received more viewers per show than Holmes’s show.
So does that mean that Holmes’ talk show is doomed? Not if they can reformat it to compete with all the ratchetness. As Tambay Obenson, of Shadow and Act recently wrote about “Don’t Sleep,” the show needs to be more edgier if it is going to compete with the likes of Bill Maher, Jon Stewart and Steve Colbert as well as reach its targeted demographic of 18 to 49 year olds:
“And I’m not even talking about tossing a few curse words in, every now and then. But given how rapidly it seemed to move along from one segment to the next, as well as the music used in transition, and at times in the background while Holmes spoke (one thing I suggest they don’t continue to do), it’s clear that the producers are going for something cool and hip; tackling serious issues that are of importance to the black community in the USA, but not being too earnest or severe with the delivery, which should keep its younger audience edutained – the key word.”
For the purpose of this post, I ended up catching a couple of episodes online. It’s not bad, but from what I’ve seen in certain elements of the show, particularly the parts where he is clearly trying to be the black version of “The Colbert Report” with the humor, it feels a bit contrived. Like, Holmes is trying way too hard to be cool, funny and hip – and in the process looks uncomfortable doing it all. For example, in one segment of the show, Holmes is speaking about the chair lynching story, when he decided to break out into this soliloquy over a finger-snapping, neo-soulish jazz beat. It took me a minute to realize that he was attempting spoken word. In this instance, the “edgy” vibe just doesn’t seem natural to him.
However, what does work for Holmes is being the straight and direct moderator and letting the drama happen around him, like in the segments of the show when he is leading panel discussions involving black intellectuals and celebrities. Investing more time and energy in smart yet edgier guests like Cynthia McKinney, Louis Farrakhan, Cornel West, Mos Def, etc., would definitely provide the color needed to balance out Holmes’ conservative style. It would add the little spice you need to quench some of that ratchet loving thirst.
For many of our favorite celebrities, their talent doesn’t just extend to acting or singing, they’re also accomplished authors. Whether they’ve written novels, biographies or children’s stories, these celebrities have found a hidden talent in writing.
Check out these 9 authors that also happen to be some of our favorite actors, TV hosts, politicians and filmmakers.