‘Arsenio Hall Show’ Canceled After 1 Season

The rookie latenight talk show from CTD and Tribune had struggled in the ratings since debuting strong last September. Its weakening performance had led to time slot downgrades

The Arsenio Hall Show will not return for a second season this fall, CBS Television Distribution confirmed this afternoon.

“While there are many loyal fans of the show, the series did not grow its audience enough to continue,” said a CTD spokesperson in a statement. “Arsenio is a tremendous talent and we’d like to thank him for all the hard work and energy he put into the show. We’d also like to thank Tribune and all our station group partners for their support of the show.”

The rookie latenight talk show from CTD and Tribune had struggled in the ratings since debuting strong last September. Its weakening performance led to time slot downgrades, notably on Tribune’s WPIX New York, where it was shifted from 11 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

In the just-concluded May sweep, the show averaged a 0.8 household rating in 56 metered markets, down 20% from its time slots last year, according to Nielsen. It had a 0.4 adult 18-49 rating, flat, and a 0.4 adult 25-54 rating, down 20%.

“When I started this adventure with CTD and Tribune, we all knew it would be a challenge,” said Hall in a statement. “I’m gratified for the year we’ve had and proud of the show we created. I’d like to thank everyone on my staff for rallying around me and striving to make the best show possible every night.”

In February, former Tonight Show host Jay Leno appeared on Arsenio to announce that the show had been renewed. But ratings remained weak in most markets.

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“Everyone had hopes that it would turn itself around,” says a syndication executive. “But, I think, when Tribune moved it in New York it meant they’re concerned about the show.”


Comments (12)

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Wagner Pereira says:

May 30, 2014 at 5:57 pm

“But, I think, when Tribune moved it in New York it meant they’re concerned about the show.” – CW, you saw what Peter said 2 weeks ago. Are you listening?

none none says:

May 30, 2014 at 9:51 pm

What a surprise.

Andrea Rader says:

May 31, 2014 at 12:00 am

Pretty tacky to wrap production while the show was in repeats, but that’s show biz. Interesting to note that Arsenio was drawing more viewers than Conan on TBS.

    Wagner Pereira says:

    May 31, 2014 at 3:19 am

    You think Conan’s viewers are more advertiser friendly than Arsenio’s? Ratings are just part of the story. What do you think the profile of Arsenio’s audience looked like? I just scanned my DVR with the list of guests on his last 8 first run shows. How many of the guests have YOU heard of? Arsenio was designed to go after a different audience than the normal late night shows. It succeeded at that, but did not deliver the bulk that was needed to cater to the non-mainstream advertiser at rates that made sense.

    Andrea Rader says:

    May 31, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    No question Conan’s demographics are more advertiser-friendly than Arsenio’s. As important a figure as he is, Dick Gregory probably isn’t one of Conan’s go-to guests.

    Wagner Pereira says:

    May 31, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    You answered your own question.

    Wagner Pereira says:

    May 31, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    You also forget that Arsenio’s Q score is the lowest of any Late Night Talk Show Hosts with a 8 positive Q score. In contrast, Stephen Colbert is the highest of any with a 20, which explains why CBS went in that direction.

    Scott Cote says:

    June 2, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    I used to do this almost every night for months, checking guests on the other late-night shows as well. I never understood the guest lineup(s).

Kristine Melser says:

June 1, 2014 at 7:34 pm

When they changed Exec Producers in October that should have been a precursor of this … but of course, when they brought him back after 20 years and put him on mainly CW affiliates who attract the coveted young’uns who did not know who he was, that could have been a major red flag too.

    Wagner Pereira says:

    June 1, 2014 at 11:52 pm

    Considering his low Q score among people that know who he is, really did not matter what channel he was on.

Maria Black says:

June 2, 2014 at 9:07 am

Every time I turned that show on, he was making uncomfortable, unfunny jokes. No amount of popular guests or commercial spots could save that guy’s show.

Keith ONeal says:

June 2, 2014 at 2:15 pm

No surprise here. You have Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers on NBC, David Letterman and Craig Fergurson on CBS, Jimmy Kimmel on ABC, and Conan O’Brien on TBS as it is. This was Arsenio’s second attempt and failure; Rikki Lake failed twice, and the jury’s still out on Queen Latifah’s second try at a talk show. Everybody and their sister all think they can host talk shows, but very few are successful at it. Jeff Probst only lasted 1 season; Bethenny is leaving the airwaves after only 1 season; Kris Jenner failed a 4 week test last summer on 6 Fox O&O stations; etc., etc.


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