A reboot of the old Comedy Central series @midnight has been tapped to inherit the 12:30 a.m. time slot on CBS that will soon be vacated by The Late Late Show with James Corden, which is slated to end its run this spring, bringing the Late Late Show franchise to a close after nearly three decades.
@midnight ran for 600 episodes on Comedy Central between 2013 and 2017, and its original host, Chris Hardwick, is not expected to have any direct involvement in the new iteration of the show, which hails from executive producer Stephen Colbert and comedy brand Funny or Die.
Colbert hosts his own CBS late-night show at 11:30 p.m. and wields tremendous influence at the network in addition to serving as an executive producer on Comedy Central’s Tooning Out the News and Hell of a Week with Charlamagne Tha God.
Deadline broke the news, reporting that The Late Late Show costs CBS just over $60 million each year. Late-night is a profit center for the broadcast networks, so in order to maximize profits, CBS President/CEO George Cheeks has sought to fill that hour with programming that costs roughly $35 million a year. Thus, he considered several different formats besides a traditional late-night show, which led him to the @midnight reboot.
The series was also seen as an internal candidate of sorts, as it hails from Comedy Central, which is on the Viacom side of Paramount Global. It helped that the format — an internet-themed game show where three guests compete in a series of recurring games — was already geared toward a younger audience that pays close attention to social media.
In addition to a new host, you can safely expect new games. Whether they’ll outdraw Late Night with Seth Meyers on NBC remains to be seen, but clearly, CBS felt pressure to shake up the hour and try something different in the late-night landscape. In fact, all the networks are reconsidering their late-night lineups, especially if they abandon the 10 p.m. hour and return it to local network affiliates.