After a promising premiere week, “The Arsenio Hall Show” may be on shaky footing. The sudden departure of Neal Kendall, the showrunner and executive producer, was recently reported and interpreted as a sign that things were not going well for the show or Tribune Broadcasting, which co-produces it and has a lot at stake.
There was media speculation that the show was not funny enough and in need of a format overhaul, which may be leading to the dip in ratings.
According to veteran media reporter Robert Feder, Arsenio Hall’s comeback is in jeopardy after the show suffered a whopping 40 percent drop in ratings since its premiere, and Nielson ratings reports the show’s target audience, viewers between 18-49, has dropped from a 1.0 rating to a dismal 0.4.
Feder also states that the show’s format and content must improve if the show is to survive.
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“It’s too soon to declare the show dead, but there’s no way it can survive on Hall’s charisma and nostalgia alone,” wrote Feder. “Plagued by miserable monologues (hint: jokes are supposed to be laughed at — not applauded), lame bits and lackluster guests, it needs to get a lot better. And fast.”
Hall acknowledged the obstacles he faces with the “Arsenio Hall Show” when he spoke to Tribune employees at a town hall meeting.
“The toughest part of doing the show is realizing that the word ‘business’ is larger than the word ‘show,’ ” he said. “A lot of people love entertainment, but at the end of the day, it’s show business. And you have to understand that to make it the right show. So I often have on another hat that’s not a host hat. It’s a producer hat. And I think that’s the hardest part: The entertainer and the producer finding a synchronicity that works for Tribune.”