Larry Wilmore debuted Comedy Central’s new Nightly Show on Monday, and the veteran writer, comedian and Daily Show correspondent brought a solid sampling for his first time at bat.
The series premiere attracted 963,000 viewers at 11:30 p.m. and a 0.5 rating among adults 18-49, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Any disappointment over Wilmore not cracking 1 million viewers should be taken lightly. The premiere happened on the tail-end of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday weekend, with a modest 1.2 million lead-in from The Daily Show. Comedy Central’s late-night block, like all of TV, also has been bringing in more and more viewers with time-shifting — and Wilmore stands to grow significantly after people sample throughout the week.
The first outing has been greeted warmly by critics, with The Hollywood Reporter‘s Tim Goodman writing, “As for first impressions, I liked it. Wilmore himself is a smart, funny performer who is no stranger to The Daily Show crowd. Most viewers to his show probably knew what to expect for the most part.”
“The Nightly Show” replaces “The Colbert Report,” whose host will succeed David Letterman at CBS in September.
Wilmore was the “senior black correspondent” for the “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” and is a respected comedian, writer and producer who says that he is ready to mix it up on late night TV, according to blackamericaweb.com.