The appearance of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan was highly controversial due to remarks by Farrakhan that many felt were anti-Semitic and homophobic. Protests from Jewish and gay groups pressured Hall to cancel Farrakhan's appearance but Hall adamantly refused. Hall agreed to feature pre-taped segments featuring opposing viewpoints but he did not air any of them. Some affiliates put a disclaimer before the episode warning viewers. The furor over this episode was a major reason why Hall and Paramount decided not to renew his contract. See more »
Hall vs. Carson: Be careful what you wish for, you might get it.
When Johnny Carson went off the air, in part because younger viewers were leaving NBC for The Arsenio Hall Show (1989), two networks decided to launch new late night show:
1. CBS-David Letterman, including in his contract the 12:30 am time slot for his production company take over.
2. Fox-Chevy Chase for a brief 13 week run.
Before these new shows, The Arsenio Hall Show was found on approximately 100 CBS affiliates around the country at 11:30 pm. Those time slots were now unavailable to Hall. Less known, is that 70+ Fox affiliates were also running the Arsenio Hall Show at 11:00 pm. Here they had to move him to the midnight hour, were there are less viewers and less ad revenue, or drop this syndicated show all together.
Combine that with the controversies surrounding this show-documented else where-it was just a matter of time.
I have a question: If Hall's success had not quickened Carson's retirement would he have lasted longer?
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