Comedy Central’s newest late-night entry, The Nightly Show, will be a split between scripted comedy and unscripted panel discussion.
“It’s kind of a hybrid if you will of The Daily Show and Politically Incorrect, those two types of shows,” Larry Wilmore, host of the show, which premieres Jan. 19, said Saturday at the TCA winter press tour. “The first part of the show will be a scripted part where I’m weighing in giving my take on the event of events of the day. The second part of the show is more of a panel discussion where we’ll be deconstructing the events a little bit more, get more into it. That will have a lot of surprising elements to it. OIt may be comic. It may be provocative. Who knows?
Wilmore appeared on a panel with the show’s executive producer, Rory Albanese, and head writer, Robin Theade.
Among the topics Wilmore addressed was the show’s title, which had been The Minority Report when Comedy Central announced in the spring that the show would take the timeslot being vacated by The Colbert Report, but was later changed.. Wilmore said that the title was changed to avoid conflict with Fox’s sci-fi drama pilot adaptation of the Steven Spielberg film Minority Report. The producers had intended to avoid conflict by referring to the show only by its full title, The Minority Report With Larry Wilmore.
“It became a bit of a mess, because we learned that we had to call it that in every form if we were going to call it that,” Wilmore said. “As you know, we’re not just producing TV shows now. Now we’re actually producing content.” A discussion about changing the title began as producers began to realize the difficulty of employing the full title in all mentions across multiple platforms.
Other highlights from the panel included:
• Wilmore said the new title better reflects the content of the show. “The Daily Show is kind of a cousin to nightly news. The Colbert Report was kind of a cousin to opinion news, Bill O’Reilly. And our show is kind of a cousin to discussion news, George Stephanopoulos, Face the Nation, Meet the Press, that sort of thing.
• Speaking to a group of reporters after the panel, Wilmore said that guests for the first episode have not been booked yet. “We’re hoping to get [New Jersey Senator] Cory Booker on the first show,” Wilmore said. “I think we may have that.”