“@midnight,” the hybrid comedy game show hosted by second hardest working man on TV, has been dropped by Comedy Central. Host Chris Hardwick announced the cancellation in a tweet overnight, saying “I’ve nothing but gratitude for Comedy Central & YOU for watching/hashtagging... .”
The show will end Aug. 4, at the 600-episode milestone.
In a statement, posted on Deadline overnight, Hardwick elaborated: “@midnight has meant the world to me these last four years [and it] has been a dream to come to work 600 times to make inappropriate jokes about the internet with my fellow comedian friends. I could not be more proud of this show, staff and crew and, at the end of the day, I think we accomplished everything we wanted to accomplish. Spiritually it just feels like it ran its course -- I’m not sure we had many more hashtag games in us (which may actually be a relief to anyone whose Twitter feed gets overrun every night).”
“@midnight” had a lasting impact beyond the relatively small perch it held in late night, or specifically 11:30 p.m. over the last year, and far beyond television: A viral content factory line, “@midnight” has been engineered to be consumed whenever or where ever, and fed off the culture -- and content -- of the internet. A game show roughly –--or ironically -- based on “Jeopardy,” Hardwick moderates three panelists -- comedians all -- who play speed buzzer rounds in an effort to be king or queen of the internet for a day. “Hashtag Wars” has been one of the best-known recurring gags, in which panelists compete to offer their own phrase for a specific hashtag. If someone says anything, no matter how clever or otherwise, Hardwick typically mutters “points!”
The show’s single best-known bit of viral content aired during the recent presidential campaign when improv comedians Anthony Atamanuik and James Adomian played Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders in a “debate” that racked up millions of views. Atamanuik went on to star in his own weekly series, “The President Show.”
Reasons for dropping the series were unclear, although this doesn’t appear to be one of those dead-of-summer coup-de-mains -- when a show is quietly killed off when no one is looking. In fact, Hardwick may simply be overextended: Like Ryan Seacrest -- more ubiquitous than even Hardwick -- he’s involved with many projects, including the popular “Talking Dead” (there’s also a “Talking Saul,” while a “Talking Preacher” was recently launched, too). He fronts a couple of new series, including one simply called “Talking with Chris Hardwick.)” He was a guest judge on “America’s Got Talent” Tuesday. He also is executive producer of the new Amazon prime animated series, “Danger & Eggs,” in which he also voices a character. Then there is “The Wall,” NBC’s new summer game series which he also hosts.
Meanwhile, he’s overseer of the Nerdist website, where he also hosts weekly podcasts.