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2 items from 2017


Hosts Like Chris Hardwick Take on Gigs Across Networks in Peak TV Era

13 April 2017 9:45 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

We live in the Peak TV era — also the Peak Chris Hardwick era. In March, AMC announced that it had expanded Hardwick’s “Talking Dead” into a year-round entertainment talk show, and had signed a first-look development deal with the host. A month later, NBC ordered a new unscripted series, “The Awesome Show,” which would be hosted by Hardwick — just as NBC’s recently renewed “The Wall” is. Those moves came in the wake of Comedy Central’s decision last October to re-up it’s own Hardwick vehicle, late-night show “@midnight,” through 2017.

But Hardwick isn’t the only ubiquitous personality on TV. He’s one of several who have extended their empires across multiple brands as the television landscape has broadened. Next month, Fox will launch a “Love Connection” revival hosted by Andy Cohen of Bravo’s “Watch What Happens: Live.” Steve Harvey is hosting “Little Big Shots” on NBC, and »

- Daniel Holloway

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High-Profile Standup Deals Help Netflix Corner Market Once Dominated by HBO

1 March 2017 3:15 PM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Comedy Central is heavily invested in the Trevor Noah business. In 2015, the cable channel plucked the comic from near obscurity to succeed Jon Stewart as host of “The Daily Show.” Two months after Noah premiered on the late-night talker, his standup special “Lost in Translation” premiered on Comedy Central. Since then, the network has aggressively marketed Noah and stuck by him as “The Daily Show” host, waiting out early, lackluster ratings that have only recently showed signs of growth.

Comedy Central would appear to be a natural home for Noah’s next standup special. But when his newest effort, “Afraid of the Dark,” debuted last week, it did so on Netflix.

Noah’s special is just one item purchased in a Netflix shopping spree that has made the streaming service the dominant buyer in the standup marketplace. Two years ago, top-tier comedians could land $5 million-$10 million for a cable TV special. Now »

- Daniel Holloway

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2 items from 2017


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