Arsenio Hall

Just a few days ago Tambay reported about the sudden departure of Neal Kendeall, the showrunner and executive producer of The Arsenio Hall Show (HERE), which clearly means that things are not going too well on the show.

Now we know how badly. 

According to veteran media reporter Robert Feder, the nationwide ratings for the show have dropped a whopping 40 percent since the show’s premiere, and according to Nielsen, the show’s target audience, viewers between 18-49, has dropped from a 1.0 rating to a lousy 0.4.

According to Feder. "it’s too soon to declare the show dead, but there’s no way it can survive on Hall’s charisma and nostalgia alone. Plagued by miserable monologues (hint: jokes are supposed to be laughed at — not applauded), lame bits and lackluster guests, it needs to get a lot better. And fast."

And it needs to get a lot better for Tribune Broadcasting, which co-produces the show, which has a lot riding on it.

In a late night meeting last Weds with employees, Tribune Broadcasting CEO Peter Liguori, told his staff that the success of Hall’s show was important for the company’s future outlook.

He was quoted as saying that “This is incredibly important for us in terms of the lead-outs from late news, in terms of us having a little more fire power on the original programming front, when we package ad sales and when we go to cable operators. We can try to talk about Arsenio and all of our original programming efforts to explain to cable operators that we’re creating value for them.

Two days after that meeting Kendeall was out.

As Tambay and I have said previously, it’s not the same as it was 20 years ago, and nostalgia isn't going to bring you ratings. And with all the tough completion out there, Hall was always going to have major trouble getting A-list guests, unless he had the ratings to get them. Having Vivica A Fox on the show, like he did last week, isn’t going to cut it.

However, unlike a lot of people, I never was a fan of Hall even 20 years ago. I always thought he was corny and a suck-up interviewer back then, and obviously, after all these years later, he hasn’t missed a step.

It’s a different world today. You’ve got to get with the program.