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Arsenio Hall canceled: 'Cool alternative' in '80s, but can't grab ratings today

Arsenio Hall canceled: Couldn't pull in the ratings this time around!
Arsenio Hall canceled: Couldn't pull in the ratings this time around!
Photo by Frederick M. Brown

Arsenio Hall's big comeback bid didn't work out due to low ratings and the show has been canceled after only one year. It's been 20 years since Arsenio was seen as the "cool alternative" to the late night shows. Since that time almost every network has found "cool" for their network. He is no longer the guy who stands out today.

The folks who launched Aresnio's show knew they had a challenge on their hands when they embarked on staging this show's comeback, according to Fox 411 on March 30. Late night is saturated with the folks who will say and do the outrageous today and that is what's drawing folks in.

Despite CBS announcing a second season for Arsenio's show recently, the plug was pulled when the syndicated show was being pushed back to less desirable time slots. As of right now, the show is in reruns and they will not resume production. Fans of the show saw the last original episode air on May 21.

According to MSN News, Arsenio's show just never grew the audience they had hoped for when they returned him to late night last year. Still, they note that Hall does have many loyal fans, just not the ratings to keep him in a much coveted time slot.

Back in the day with Johnny Carson hosted "The Tonight Show" Hall's show was new and innovated. He aired in 1989 and captured the younger audiences being the "cool alternative" to shows like Carson's. Bill Clinton played the saxophone on Arsenio's original show.

Then Letterman and Jay Leno leveled the playing field in the early 90s. That "cool alternative" was now the norm on all the networks and that continues today. Hall made a statement about the show going under saying:

"I am gratified for the year we've had and proud of the show we created."

When Hall returned to late night last year he had not only Letterman and Leno to contend with, his competition carried over to Jimmy Kimmel and the Comedy Central lineup. This brings the late night line-up back to "almost uniformly white male hosts" suggests Fox 411 today. They did say that Travis Smiley from PBS was the exception.