“The Arsenio Hall Show” has stopped production, marking an abrupt end to the host’s efforts to restart his latenight franchise in syndication.
CBS had said that the show would return for a second season, but the latenight strip was facing significant downgrades from stations and the Eye determined that the show would not be financially viable. The show was in reruns this week and will not resume production. The show’s last original seg was May 21.
CBS said in a statement: “Unfortunately, ‘The Arsenio Hall Show’ will not return for a second season; while there are many loyal fans of the show, the series did not grow its audience enough to continue. 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.”
Hall had sought to rekindle the success he had in the late 1980s and early ’90s with his syndie yakker. The revived show, a joint production of CBS and Tribune, started out with promise last September but could not maintain its early momentum and struggled with guest bookings.
The return of Hall was part of an unprecedented shakeup in the latenight TV lineup during the past two years. At the time plans for Hall’s return were first announced in June 2012, ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” was still airing at midnight and Jay Leno was still firmly in control of “The Tonight Show.” Back in his heyday, Hall was a hip, urban-friendly alternative to Johnny Carson; this time around, he was one of many alternatives in latenight.
“Arsenio Hall” staffers were floored by the news of the shutdown that was announced Friday afternoon at the show’s offices on the Sunset Bronson studio lot that is home to Tribune’s KTLA, which carried the show in L.A.
The news came as a shock because CBS and Tribune had previously committed to a second year of the show. Leno even made a special visit to the show to announce the season two pickup, his first TV appearance after exiting “The Tonight Show” in February.
Hall could not immediately be reached for comment.