Arsenio Hall's late-night return cut short after first season

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Arsenio Hall's second run at late-night stardom is over. CBS Television Distribution, which produces "The Arsenio Hall Show," announced Friday that it would not return for a second season, reversing a February announcement of a second-season pickup.

In a statement, Hall said, "When I started this adventure with CTD and Tribune, we all knew it would be a challenge -- I'm gratified for the year we've had and proud of the show we created. I'd like to thank everyone on my staff for rallying around me and striving to make the best show possible every night."

At launch last fall, "Hall" looked promising -- it initially had decent viewership among young adults -- but when Jimmy Fallon's "Tonight Show" arrived earlier this year, numbers tailed off dramatically, leading some of the major stations carrying the show, including WPIX/11, to "downgrade" it, or air it at later times.

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So-called "downgrades" were an ominous development for Hall the first time around, leading to the eventual cancellation of his long-ago show for Paramount, which aired from Jan. 3, 1989, until May 27, 1994.

"Unfortunately, 'The Arsenio Hall Show' will not return for a second season," according to the CBS statement, which read in part, "While there are many loyal fans of the show, the series did not grow its audience enough to continue. Arsenio is a tremendous talent, and we'd like to thank him for all the hard work and energy he put into the show."

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