Comedy Central’s ‘@Midnight’ Renewed for Season 2

Published 10 months ago by

Chris Hardwick @Midnight Renewed for Season 2 Comedy Central’s ‘@Midnight’ Renewed for Season 2

On the same day that budding late night personality John Oliver departed Comedy Central and The Daily Show, the network shored up its post-prime time lineup, renewing Chris Hardwick’s @Midnight for a 40-week season 2 that will start on January 6th.

The show – a mock quiz/panel show hybrid – has handily beat The Pete Holmes Show (another freshman late night entry) in the ratings and has performed well in the key demos, where it ranked third among all late night cable “talk” shows among viewers 18-34 and fourth among viewers 18-49.

Granted, sitting behind The Daily Show and The Colbert Report (which typically occupy the top spots among young viewers) gives @Midnight an advantage over the competition, but where credit is due, credit must be given, and Chris Hardwick’s late night laugher is quickly becoming the unofficial show of social media.

In our initial review, we openly questioned whether the internet had “enough juice to fuel a daily show,” but it seems clear that while the show’s panelists seem occasionally restrained by its format and its (occasionally) thin list of topics, others have made gold out of web junk straw.

There was also a concern that @Midnight didn’t possess the ability to reach viewers who were not “plugged in” to social media, but the show has seemingly converted twitter popularity into real viewers at a rate that nullifies concerns about its ability to reach the unconnected.

midnight renewed oswalt panel Comedy Central’s ‘@Midnight’ Renewed for Season 2

@Midnight isn’t the first show to integrate social media and web culture into its strategy and format – Late Night with Jimmy Fallon was an early adopter with his embrace of hashtags and Pete Holmes’ show is obviously aiming a lot of its sketch material at viral video consumers – but it may be the most organic. The show is, quite literally, born daily from the ooze of the internet, pulling in and riffing on the ridiculous and the absurd in a manner that matches the way people approach Twitter. @Midnight feels like it understands that, and that is likely what is driving its acceptance among young viewers.

The show’s success should also bode well for its ability to draw top-shelf talent. As noted when we discussed NBC’s revival of Last Comic Standing, shows like @Midnight offer a much more favorable exposure outlet for comics, and in the abbreviated first season, that was proven by the presence of Judd Apatow, David Spade, Scott Aukerman, and Patton Oswalt, among others.  (Oswalt even recently tweetedFor a comedian, appearing on ‘To Catch a Predator’ is a better career boost than ‘Last Comic Standing.’ “)

That guest list figures to grow if @Midnight can maintain its foothold on young viewers, but it also makes one wonder if the success of @Midnight will pressure Comedy Central to push further into the midnight hour with additional programming (beyond the Adam Devine’s House Party experiment) at a time when – thanks to Fallon’s coming ascension to The Tonight Show over at NBC – more young late late night viewers might be up for grabs.

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@Midnight returns to Comedy Central on January 6th @12am.

Source: Deadline

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  1. It’s fun. I find him less annoying in shows like this then when he’s voice acting in a cartoon. So no harm here :\

    • What show was that?

      I’ve only known him from his various hosting gigs, and Nerdist.

  2. Hardwick just tweeted that his dad died suddenly. Good thoughts to him and his family.

  3. Really tell me more dbag.

  4. this is my new favorite show! glad to see it picked up :)

  5. Hardwick is not funny at all, it’s the comedians that make the show.

    i find it cheap making a whole show around what people do on the internet…don’t be shy and get creative

  6. Depressing that a show this busted and misguided is renewed. The focus on points and sending home losers is so very point-less and obtrusive. Comedians are discouraged from maximizing comedic value because choosing the correct answers is the supposed way to get more screen time. I see them get penalized for a funny comment because it was not “correct” and rewarded for a humorless identification of some dummy’s twitter comment. It’s insulting to watch the overexposed (and not that charming) Hardwick mull over the entertainment value of a joke and assign it a number value based on how much it pleased him.

    Ditch the gameshow trapping, prioritize comedy over structure and drama, and stop singling out the winners and losers. Used to be that if three comedians got together the purpose was to generate laughter. Isn’t that the only priority they should have? Jezelnik Offensive just let them riff and throw ideas around, which is way more compelling then watching the points get divied up or waiting to see if the host is amused enough to declare you the funniest person amongst your peers. Tell some darn jokes and let the audience worry about how funny they are! At least an offscreen judge would alleviate the awful back and forth that shows us the host’s super relevant opinion of EVERY joke, like some royal tool waiting to be presented with adequate amusement. Get out of the way of the funny!

    • I think you’re watching the wrong show.

      The points are not emphasized or important at all, the winners & losers and points are just there for a basic structure so the show makes some sense, but the whole thing is driven by giving the players chances to tell jokes.

      • The unimportance of the points is largely my..er..point. The structure of the show is so very unimportant that when it gets in the way of comedy, discourages the free flow of improvising comedians, or puts focus on the approval levels of the host, it should just be tossed out. (In my opinion). I find the attempt at structure to be purely a hindrance, and a self-indulgent one at that, so I’m offended by the adherence to it rather than to a commitment to comedy. Just my suggestion though. Way to disagree without being a jerk though! I’m impressed whenever that happens on the net.

    • @Josh Calkins – I think what you want is a panel of comedians telling jokes. You should check out these things called podcasts on the internet. You should be able to discover a plethora of comedic podcasts on the Earwolf, Nerdist, Smodcast, All thing Comedy, Death Squad, and ACE broadcasting networks. Plus, there are plenty of independent podcasts out there.

      This is a television show, not a live event, so the show needs some sort of structure on the air. And you do realize that their prize isn’t real, right? They don’t get to wear a tiara and sash or carry a scepter and proclaim that they are the funniest person in the world.

      • I’ve never heard a podcast, so I appreciate the suggestions. I do (of course) realize that the prize on the show is nonexistent and that the structure is just there to make it all work. On the other hand, I stand by my feeling that the structure in this case is a time wasting failure in that it hinders the comedy and comedians rather than bringing anything to the table. If we acknowledge that it’s all loose and irrelevant, than why must we also wait while the host does some quick math and chooses point values? They could just allow crowd reaction to register each comedian’s partication and the subsequent winner. That’s not great, but it wastes less time and asks less patience from a comedy seeking audience. I want this show to be much better! Anyway, I don’t mean to bash a show you like, I just feel impatient for the comedy premise to prevail. When three wacky texts are read, for example, the humor is in the fact that they could all be true. There is no inherent comedy to having a contestant actually pick one to see if he or she can get points. “Make with the funny, little man!”. I feel like demanding of the screen.

  7. I’m very excited for another season. This has become a must watch for me the last month. It’s like a podcast on television. I’ve always wanted to see Doug Loves Movies as a television show, but I think this works better. Very cool!

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