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Wilmore's canceled "Nightly Show" deserved more WNY viewers


Comedy Central’s “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore” ends its 20-month run on Thursday night because of weak national ratings.

Not too many Western New Yorkers will be crying because the program hasn’t attracted much of an audience here since replacing “The Colbert Report.”

During the May sweeps, Wilmore’s program had a 0.6 rating in WNY, representing about 3,000 households.

I expected that might increase Monday, hours after Comedy Central announced the show was being canceled.

It didn’t happen. Monday's program had the same 0.6 rating in WNY.

I wasn’t a regular viewer – after all the program starts at 11: 31 p.m. But I’ll still miss Wilmore’s comedic and serious points of view on issues that often dealt with race relations.

I thought his Monday program might have created more noise than usual since Wilmore took all gloves off in a devastating rant against Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. It didn't appear to happen.

Wilmore called Trump “a psychopathic narcissist who not only has the hands of an infant but the mind of one."

“Donald Trump is an existential threat to America,” added Wilmore. “If you love America like me, you have to hope (Democratic nominee) Hillary Clinton gets every single Electoral College vote this November.”

He ended his rant by referencing Clinton’s campaign slogan.

“It is not so much that I’m with her,” said Wilmore. “It's that I’m with HER.”

At that time, a picture of the Statue of Liberty appeared on the left side of the TV screen.

Needless to say, Wilmore didn’t likely get many Republican or conservative viewers.

In addition to going after Trump Monday, he went after Trump surrogate Katrina Pierson, who is almost a nightly embarrassment on CNN defending her candidate’s often off-the-wall comments. Last week, she mistakenly and laughingly suggested that President Obama invaded Afghanistan instead of President Bush.

Wilmore lamented that his show is ending with a few more months left in the presidential campaign.

I’m with him.

It is unfortunate that Comedy Central couldn’t have found a way to keep Wilmore on the air until after the election.

His Tuesday program featured highlights of past programs, which sent me over to NBC’s coverage of the Rio Olympics.

Hopefully, Wilmore’s final two programs will be more like Monday night’s.

A couple of days ago, I mentioned that nothing says go to bed during the Olympics more than beach volleyball.

But after being a little bored by Wilmore’s highlight program, I switched over to NBC’s Tuesday night coverage of Rio as Americans Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross were engaged in a tough match against a Brazilian team. Since the Americans were losing, I stayed up to see if they could stage a comeback. They didn’t. They lost in straight sets in a match that ended past midnight.

Since Walsh and Ross have gotten so much attention from NBC, I thought the network might stick around a few minutes to interview them. But host Bob Costas signed off and said the interview would have to wait for the late night program that runs after local news. I know NBC is under affiliate pressure to sign off so newscasts can start but I wish it had waited a few more minutes and interviewed Walsh and Ross.

Finally, I’m sure actor Zac Efron’s surprise meeting with super fan Simone Biles and the rest of the U.S. women’s gymnastics team Tuesday shown on “Today” Wednesday morning will go viral if it hasn’t already. I suggest you watch it. The reaction of the gymnasts was pretty sweet and undoubtedly put a smile on the face of many viewers. Just not as big a smile as were on the faces of Biles and her gold medal teammates.


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