By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act October 7, 2013 at 6:05PM
It's a sign/indication of something. What that is, I don't know yet. We'll just have to wait to find out.
The new show's dipping ratings (after a promising premiere week) likely prompted this change - a ratings slide that I can only attribute to what I've said since the first episode, which is that, it's just not funny enough (his opening monologue and the numerous skits inserted throughout each show); and also the interviews haven't been all-that interesting, and I recommended that he reconsider his writing staff or style, and maybe even the show's overall format.
After watching the first full week of episodes, I just wasn't hooked. I've tuned in irregularly since that first week, but rarely long enough each time to watch entire episodes, because I'm just not engaged enough.
A restructuring was definitely in order if the show must be saved, and maybe this is only the beginning.
I hoped that maybe it'll take a few more episodes for him to regain his mojo, because, despite my lackluster reactions to the show, I'm genuinely rooting for his success - especially given the noticeable absence of black late night talk-show hosts. And I was a huge fan of the previous Arsenio Hall Show. Maybe I was too young then, and it worked for Tambay at that age, but not-so-much today, 20 years later.
Although I should add that I don't watch late night talkshows much anymore. None of them with any regularity. I'm more likely to catch individual short clips online, the day after they air, than I am to actually sit through one in full. So it's not just an Arsenio Hall Show problem - at least, in my case.
However, I really wanted him to come out swinging - hard - with the guests, the skits, the excitement for what's to come, so that I could experience a similar kind of excitement that I did 20 years ago; but I haven't felt any of that. The show just hasn't been able to tap into that for me.
The Arsenio Hall Show has announced that exec producer/showrunner Neal Kendeall is stepping down. While a replacement is found, Eric Pankowski, senior VP of programming and development for the show's distributor CBS TV Distribution, will step in as interim showrunner.
Arsenio himself is performing the search for a new exec producer - one that will maybe be a better fit, able to identify and highlight Arsenio's strengths, and help make the show a success.
And while I'm not suggesting that the show might eventually be canceled, or not renewed for a second season, the times have changed folks. The TV landscape isn't at all what it used to be, as television itself has seen a radical transformation in the last decade, thanks in large part to the information superhighway known as the world wide web. Competition for eyeballs is INTENSE, with so much demanding the audience's attention, even when at home. So content creators really need to stand out if they're to survive.
They say that you only get one chance to make a first impression, a statement that carries even more weight today in TV land than it ever did, with network execs and their itchy trigger fingers, not hesitating to cancel new shows if they aren't hits right from the start.
Let's see where this search for a new showrunner leads...