Is there a future for late night talk shows?

Trevor Noah Leaving “The Daily Show.”Next year. James Corden, host of “The Late Late Show” on CBS, will also be leaving his show after that. TBS has canceled “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee” this year.

And at NBC, executives are considering dropping the show 10 pm for local stations. If they make this move, “The Tonight Show” could begin for the first time in seven decades at 10:30 p.m.

All of this has unleashed a big question within the TV industry: What is the future of the late-night talk show?

For decades, late night shows have been a hugely successful franchise for network television. The costs of the shows were relatively low, and the number of hours of programming they gave, as well as the earnings they started, were phenomenal.

But with the rise of broadcasting, and network television audiences and ad revenue dwindling, fears that late-night shows may be the latest genre affected by sweeping change are hitting virtually every corner of the entertainment world.

Streaming services like Netflix and Hulu have taken a crack at talk shows, but with little success. The performances—whether through an opening monologue or an interview with a celebrity whose film will debut soon—are based on themes, something that hasn’t quite translated into broadcast.

Gavin Purcell said, previous show From “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”. “There is nothing in this that seems natural to the world of late night.”

Rob Burnett, the former executive producer of “The Late Show With David Letterman,” said viewers used to have a “deep bond” with late-night hosts, in part because there was nothing else to watch at that hour.

“I don’t think it will ever exist again,” he said.

More moves could be in full swing. NBCUniversal executives, as part of their discussions around 10 p.m., are weighing the future of the network’s 12:30 a.m. show, “Late Night With Seth Meyers,” according to three people familiar with the discussions, who have not been authorized to speak about it publicly.

Executives discussed a wide range of possibilities for Mr. Myers’ show, including moving it to another time period, reducing the number of people on staff and switching it to Peacock’s streaming service or to MSNBC, two of the people said.

“In every scenario we’re discussing now, ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’ and ‘Late Night With Seth Meyers’ remain on NBC,” the network said in a statement.

Some executives have concluded that the cost of producing some nightly shows, especially at 12:30 a.m., is no longer feasible in the age of declining ratings.

Late-night shows revenue dropped. During the first six months of 2021, the four late-night TV shows brought in a total of $301 million in advertising revenue, according to Kantar. During the first six months of this year, that number fell 16 percent, to $253.6 million. Al-Kontar said Mr. Myers’ bid generated $24.6 million in advertising revenue during the first six months of 2021, compared to $19 million in the first six months of 2022.

In fact, ratings for late-night shows have fallen so low that the political comedy Gutfeld! Fox News at 11 p.m. often draws more viewers than any of the network’s long-running late-night franchises.

Nightly shows have also struggled to transition to streaming video streaming, another consideration weighing on executives. The topical opening monologue, a staple of the genre, has almost no shelf life in broadcast libraries.

Netflix has tried to make talk shows work over the years, with shows for hosts like Chelsea Handler, Hasan Minhaj, Michelle Wolf, and Joel McHale. All of them have been cancelledand Netflix executives have moved on from coordination. Similarly, Hulu attempted a talk show with Sarah Silverman, which was canceled after 21 episodes. Jon Stewart is doing a show on Apple TV+, which struggled to gain a lot of attention during its first season.

The current crop of late-night network hosts don’t seem to want a lifetime appointment, which also speeds up changes.

Mr. Noah said he wanted to “keep exploring” another part of his life. His announcement surprised many of his employees and even senior executives at Paramount, Comedy Central’s parent company.

Mr. Noah will continue to host for the next few months. “We’re excited for the next chapter,” a Comedy Central spokeswoman said.

When Mr Corden announced his departure, he also said he wanted “to see what else there might be”.

Mr. Burnett, Mr. Letterman’s former executive producer, said there are more opportunities now than there were 20 years ago.

“I think Carson’s 40-year book Talking to Celebrities is probably a thing of the past,” he said, referring to Johnny Carson’s long stint as host of “The Tonight Show.” “It’s not just that the public doesn’t want it. I also think the hosts want more than sitting behind the same desk for 40 years.”

Conan O’Brien, a late-night host for nearly three decades, saw his audience numbers plummet each year before leaving the TBS Late Night Show last year. He found success in a completely different medium: podcasting. Mr. O’Brien’s company recently sold his podcast company to SiriusXM. In the nearly three decades of Late Night, “we’ve seen a lot of changes,” said Jeff Ross, O’Brien’s longtime executive producer.

“It just felt like a good time to go ahead and try a few different things, and that’s what we do,” he said.

The host behind the desk won’t go away right away. Jimmy Kimmel recently re-signed his contract, while continuing ABC until 2026. Stephen Colbert, the network’s most-watched late-night host, is signed over the next year, and Mr Fallon has signed a contract extension in late 2020.

However, performances may take on new forms. CBS executives said the late-night show that would succeed Mr. Corden’s show would not be an exact copy of what came before it. George Cheeks, President of CBS. He said This year he was considering an “alternative format” for the show, adding, “I don’t think we’ll be putting another host out there.”

Mr. Purcell, the former “Tonight Show” presenter, said he could imagine the kind of late-night show that’s on the streaming service, appearing after something like Amazon’s “Friday Night Football” broadcast.

“It might eventually bring back those shows,” he said. “I think the disappearance of the TV broadcast model is what stops people from watching it so much.”

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