TBS Cancels ‘The Pete Holmes Show’ 

Published 11 months ago by

pete holmes show cancelled TBS Cancels The Pete Holmes Show 

For all the Carsons, Lenos, Lettermans and O’Briens, there are many other late night shows – born with great hope and sometimes star power – that fail to catch fire with audiences, earning a spot in history’s dustbin. Some are jokes and cautionary tales like The Chevy Chase Show and The Magic Hour and others are just forgotten like any other discarded show despite often spending hundreds of hours on television.

By virtue of its short lifespan, The Pete Holmes Show - who, according to host Pete Holmes, will air its last episode on June 18th - won’t likely have a long life in our collective memories, but it deserves more than that assured oblivion.

Born on TBS at the end of October to serve as a companion series to Conan (and produced by Conan O’Brien), The Pete Holmes Show features a notably casual interpretation of late night comedy conventions. Interviews often steer well clear of the canned-story/promo clip standard, with Holmes often leaving the studio all together to play with comics, athletes, actors and other figures like Deepak Chopra and Trixie Garcia while occasionally engaging in philosophical discussions. Besides the “31 Flavors” approach to celebrity interviews, Holmes’ show also featured original sketch comedy bits, a non-topical monologue and an eagerness to try new and occasionally weird things; and it is that trait that we may miss most of all, because “rule breakers” and purveyors of the comically absurd like Letterman, O’Brien, Craig Ferguson and even Holmes give nightly late night its soul and they are (save for O’Brien) a suddenly disappearing lot.

pete holmes show review allison williams TBS Cancels The Pete Holmes Show 

With that said, however, Holmes’ cancellation isn’t an injustice that boggles the mind. Being a part of TBS’ late night lineup is obviously not easy if you don’t have Conan O’Brien’s name recognition (ask George Lopez) thanks in part to the network’s weak original programming slate and Holmes’ ratings tell that story. If we’re looking to assign blame for that, we might start with Holmes’ less than standard guest list, which is rewarding as a regular viewer, but not the best way to bring in new viewers on a nightly basis. Besides that, and despite the fact that Holmes displayed plenty of other sketches during his run, the abundance of Ex-Men and Red Tape sketches may have hurt, or at least not helped as much as they could have in that they seemed to become less of an attention generating “event” as they continued to role out. These are minor things, though, when you compare them to the popularity of Holmes’ competition and the show’s unlucky timing – the show debuted against @Midnight‘s surprising success in October and then went up against that show and the last half hour of the re-energized Tonight Show when Jimmy Fallon took over in February.

Should TBS have shown The Pete Holmes Show more patience? The desire is to say yes and expect these networks to keep on shows based on promise and quality, but eventually they can’t justify the expense or a hopeful forecast and this is one of those business decisions that are easy to hate but easier to understand and accept.

As for what TBS’ next move is with the midnight hour, that is anyone’s guess. Though Conan O’Brien will likely have a say since he’ll be sticking around for another three years, it seems likely that TBS might insist that he look further than his own staff since both Holmes and writer Deon Cole had O’Brien backed shows that failed to attain the grace of longevity.

pete holmes show review pete TBS Cancels The Pete Holmes Show 

Holmes’ future is equally up in the air but he does seem determined to do something similar according to his positive farewell post on Facebook following news of the cancellation.

“I feel like we’ve been given a calling card, a body of work that survives past this show being on the air. I feel a little silly, like Braveheart or something, screaming, “THIS IS NOT THE END!” But it’s not. We are going out to see where our style fits and makes the most sense and in what way.”

Before the #PeteyPeteLateLate Tweets start flying in an effort to get Holmes’ name into the Late Late Show conversation, though, let’s remember how rare it is for a late night host to bust on one network only to immediately soar on another. Conan O’Brien’s example is exempted due to extenuating circumstances, but when we look at other success stories like Dennis Miller and Jon Stewart, who respectively failed in syndication and on MTV in the 90s, it’s important to remember that each changed up their style a bit to find that success (most notably, Stewart). Will Holmes do the same, refining his loose approach to something that is spiritually similar and still unique but perhaps more palpable to the masses? As talented as Holmes is, we certainly hope so.


The Pete Holmes Show will air new episodes until June 18th on TBS Monday through Thursday @12AM

Source: Deadline

Follow Jason Tabrys on Twitter @jtabrys
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  1. The show was terrible. Pete Holmes is supremely vanilla. His sketches are decent but repetitive and they get old real fast. He also tends to overvalue himself – constantly talking over guests and always bringing up personal stories. But the bottom line is that he’s not funny or talented. It’s stunning that he even got a show in the first place. This show will be forgotten and never missed.

  2. Good. I had never even heard of this guy before he got his own show. The commercials I saw for it before it aired were just odd and confusing and his sketches aren’t even chuckle worthy. Glad this is gone.

    • Why are you “glad this is gone”? No one forced you to watch it.

      • I am glad it is gone as well. You are not owed an explanation as to why.

        • The explanation is because you are haters and you are going to hate.

          • Never understood the “haters gonna hate” line, seems ridiculous, especially when used in defense of something that someone else doesn’t enjoy.

            It’s like someone saying “I like something you don’t but rather than attempt to change your mind with good points about what I enjoy about this item in question and respectfully step away if you don’t change your mind, I’ll just leave a pointless and pretty immature remark because I have no valid arguments in favour of this thing and simultaneously want to stir up a fight because the person I’m saying it to will inevitably see the comment and feel the need to retort in kind”.

            Honestly, I never heard of this guy until now but saw his Ex-Men videos and found them as funny as genocide (ie, not funny at all) and left it at that. Others did like it so they commented to say that. I just don’t see the need for a forced conflict to begin over this guy but I guess that’s the problem with society these days. If people aren’t being incredibly impatient over upcoming releases, they’re going out of their way to insult and attack others for having a differing opinion and starting trouble.

            • They never said they didnt like it, or that they watched it, just that they were glad it was canceled

  3. Meh. Some of the skits were funny, but they always devolved into the exact same trolling, noise making and flipping of the bird. Got old VERY fast.

  4. This WAS news 22+ hours ago..

  5. Who the hell is Pete Holmes?

    • Who the hell is Pete Holmes and why does he have his own show?

  6. Never heard of this bloke.

  7. His sketches were great… Loved him firing an Xman… How does this get cancelled but Jimmy Fallon stays on the air?!?

    • …………..

  8. NOOOOOOOO!!!!! oh my god he was hilarious the last 20+ episodes… I hope he goes to conans show or gets a role on another show or something…

  9. Is this the guy behind those “Ex-Men” videos that occasionally pop up on Geek Picks?

    If so, yeah, no real loss. Grumpy Cat is funnier and that meme was pretty dumb and unfunny.

  10. I like Pete Holmes, big fan of his stand-up, the Badman series, and the Ex-men series. He’s funny but his show was definitely struggling. The format changed up too much and there needs to be some consistency with talk shows. Wish he’d had more time to grow as a host but oh well.

  11. Who is Pete Holmes?

  12. IT seemed he was kinda struggling with the show, but he came out and gave it his best shot. May be if he had more time to refine what he did, then it would’ve turned out differently. I enjoyed the show, some others not so much, but in any case it was something ‘different’, and at times something very funny. Hope he goes on to something else though, maybe a spot on IFC? It’d be a nice transition.

  13. we need more black talk show host, I can only name one, Arsenio Hall, they need to give another black comedian a chance at late night….

  14. He’s not really that funny. Even his Ex-Men/Street Fighter clips were just so so.

  15. His Batman shorts are pretty damn funny. Saw them on College Humour. The one with Patton Oswald as the Penguin is my favourite. Didn’t really care for the Ex-Men ones though.

  16. It seems like these types of shows are a bit dated and redundant in the age of hundreds of cable channels. The networks keep the late shows around because of the familiarity, but is there really enough of an audience for multiple shows with a similar format?