Jan 11, 2015 5:01 AM

Wilmore readying new show for Comedy Central

The Associated Press

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) Larry Wilmore says that his new "Nightly Show" launching on Comedy Central later this month will be like a hybrid of "The Daily Show" and "Politically Incorrect," combining comic observations and a topical panel discussion.

Wilmore's half-hour show, which will air at 11:30 p.m. EST on weeknights following Stewart's "Daily Show," is replacing "The Colbert Report" with Stephen Colbert headed to CBS. Unlike the star of "The Colbert Report," Wilmore will be himself, and not play a character.

"It may be comic, it may be provocative," Wilmore told reporters at a television conference on Saturday. "Who knows? It will go where it goes."

Celebrities will be part of the mix, "but they won't be hawking books and movies," he said. He'll begin test shows next week in anticipation of a Jan. 19 premiere.

Wilmore, 53, is a comic veteran with extensive experience both onstage and behind the scenes, most recently developing the ABC comedy "black-ish." He's known to Comedy Central viewers as the "senior black correspondent" on "The Daily Show." He jumped at the chance for the new show when Stewart suggested it, somewhat surprised at his age to be getting the opportunity.

It was initially called "The Minority Report," but was changed after Fox raised complications because it is preparing a show with the same name. "Meet the Rest" was briefly considered before they settled on "The Nightly Show."

"If you're watching 'The Daily Show' and it feels like it's getting a little darker, it's probably 'The Nightly Show,'" he said.

Some 417 people applied to be writers on "The Nightly Show" before Wilmore and Executive Producer Rory Albanese settled on 10. Wilmore said he was looking for people who would challenge him.

"I already have my voice," he said. "I don't want to have a roomful of people who are going to reflect me."

Pressed by a reporter on how he might find comedy on a difficult week like this, with the attacks and hostage-taking in France, Wilmore said, "They're starting to kill satirists just as a brother is launching his show. The timing of that is a little bit scary." For some stories, he said the best thing may be to wait to gain perspective.

Starting his show on Martin Luther King Day, Wilmore joked that "I had a dream that a brother needed to work on that day." Truthfully, he said there was no special significance to the launch date, just that it made sense to begin on a Monday when "The Daily Show" has a fresh show preceding it.


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