Donald Trump didn’t tell Arsenio Hall he was fired. The American public did just that today.
The Arsenio Hall Show, the reboot of the successful ’90s talker, got canceled after just one season. Hall simply couldn’t compete with the current crop of late night talkers, a crowded field including Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Jon Stewart and David Letterman.
Hall’s show earned a second season promise earlier this year, but the ratings convinced the powers that be that such a move wasn’t wise.
Hall’s second time as the host of a syndicated talk show launched in September and was anchored on 17 stations owned by Tribune Broadcasting — a partner in the production of the show — including markets in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. The series had aired in most markets starting at 11 p.m., going head-to-head with local news and off-network syndicated shows. The second half-hour of Hall’s show faced stiff competition from the likes of the newly reinvigoratedTonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live and CBS’ Late Show With David Letterman.
Despite premiering to optimistic numbers, 1.5 rating with households (and, more importantly, a 1.0 rating among adults 18-49), the ratings took a dive. The talker dropped 60 percent in the key demo within its first several months. There were bright spots along the way. A visit from prince Prince saw ratings surge 56 percent in March, tying even ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel that night, but the pressure cooker of the Jimmy Fallon era late night was ultimately too much. Arsenio was further walloped in the ratings whenDavid Letterman’s April 3 announcement of his retirement drove up attention on CBS.
The first Hall show made news when Bill Clinton appealed to younger voters by playing the saxophone while the host grinned by his side. The program also featured the “Dog Pound,” Hall’s loyal fans who barked with enthusiasm at the start of each broadcast.
Hall’s victory on Celebrity Apprentice with Donald Trump started the effort to place him back into the late night environment.