Has this ever happened in the history of television? I'm sure it has, but it's still a head-scratcher to me.
In February, after some speculation that it may not survive, The Arsenio Hall Show was renewed by CBS Television for a second season.
Tribune Broadcasting, a partner in production of the syndicated, late-night talk show, said at the time that it would continue to be the anchor station group, airing the show on 17 stations, including in the three largest markets on WPIX, New York, at 11 p.m.; KTLA, Los Angeles, at 11 p.m.; and WGN, Chicago, at 10 p.m.
"Since 9/9/13, I've been waking up without an alarm clock," said Arsenio Hall at the time. "Producing and hosting my late-night talk show brings me great joy. I'm back where I belong! Thanks to my partners at CBS Television Distribution and Tribune."
"Arsenio is an incredibly talented host who has connected with his viewers; we look forward to watching the show grow and develop in year two," said Sean Compton, President Strategic Programming and Acquisitions, Tribune Company.
That was all in February. So what happened to all that love and appreciation over the 3 months since then?
CBS Television Distribution has now announced that The Arsenio Hall Show will actually not return for a second season.
“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," said CBS Television Distribution in a press statement today, adding that, "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.”
Arsenio chimed in with: "When I started this adventure with CTD and Tribune, we all knew it would be a challenge -- I’m gratified for the year we’ve had and proud of the show we created. I’d like to thank everyone on my staff for rallying around me and striving to make the best show possible every night."
That's unfortunate. Even though I didn't watch with any regularity, I did notice an improvement in the show as it progressed during its first (and now only) season, based on the episodes that I did tune in for, from the start of the season, to it's most recent airing. The late-night space is a competitive one, and as the majors (NBC, CBS, ABC notably) recruit younger, fresher blood to anchor their late-night lineups, Arsenio, whose heyday really was in the 1990s, faced a steep uphill climb.
Now what will he do next? I'm sure he's not done with showbiz...