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.
“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.”