Latest TV Cancellations


We’re going to talk about 2 rare shows that have been recently cancelled. It’s tempting to include Rob Ford’s show, which was cancelled after 1 episode, but we’re not going to talk about it. The 2 shows I’m talking about are The Jeselnik Offensive and Totally Biased With W. Kamua Bell.

Totally biased was a show on FXX, formerly on FX, that deviated from the late night formula of white men in suits. There are a lot of white late night hosts and they’ve been dominating late night TV since the time of Johnny Carson and Steve Allen. Currently almost all of the notable hosts are Caucasian, Jay Leno, David Letterman, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, and Jimmy Kimmel. Pete Holmes has a new show under the guidance of late night veteran Conan O’Brien. Saturday Night Live’s Seth Meyer will take over the Late Show and Fallon will take over late night. Overall, I could confidently say that America’s late night shows are solid, so why are we talking about W. Kamau Bell?

Because his show was more focused on the issues of real America. He talked about Race and Gender, topics that totally get people uncomfortable. Bell talked about these important issues not because they were controversial and attracted viewers. He did it because somebody had to. Granted, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report dwelled on these issues too, but for Kamau Bell, it needs to come from an African American’s perspective on how his people really live.

And Bell didn’t just talk about race and gender, he discussed issues about ethnicity, religion, and politics. He had diverse topics, but his political focus was spot on. There was comedy of course, the sweet sugar coating that we need to have before we swallow the bitter truth, but it wasn’t enough to drive the ratings up. He met his end on FXX, where the target audience are white young males. His niche wasn’t appealing to FXX’s target audience, and that’s the strongest reason why he’s not on air anymore.

And moving on to the next show, The Jeselnik Offensive, which is one of the most original shows ever on TV. If you’re used to watching the Comedy Central roasts, then you’ve probably heard of Anthony Jeselnik. His brand of comedy is dark, like AIDS, cancer, suicides, rape kind of dark. So it’s easy to see why the rest of America won’t get his show. Take for instance his sign off “Go read a book”. Go read a what? His show was entertaining, but he tried everything in his power to counter every established norm on TV. He made fun of Mexicans by mimicking their accents, he congratulated a shark for killing a man, and he made cancer jokes in front of people who have been diagnosed with cancer. From a perspective of a TV executive, he’s really trying to go off the air, but he’s not. He just wants to be so original that he can’t help driving and turning people off.

It’s a shame that good shows like these two got cancelled. They were ahead of their times indeed. Maybe next time? Hopefully.

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