Monday, June 27th, 2016

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Future of ‘Arsenio Hall Show’ Gloomy After Steep Ratings Drop

arsenio hall wins celebrity apprenticeAfter 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.”


  1. Watching the show for the first time, and sorry to say but the show is not funny and Arsenio keeps losing his voice :-/

  2. Kenya Baker says:

    I have been a fan since the 90's and I watch regularly now that he's back. I hope things turn around as far as Arsenio's ratings go.

  3. Verna Harris says:

    I have watched but not excited about it. Arsenio seems to be stuck in a time warp.

  4. P Terrance Nels says:

    They haven't advertised enough. What station and time is it even on? No idea or who the guest are going to be. Hate to say it but Jimmy Fallon is a better fresher version of what Arsenio used to be….plus he has The Roots!

  5. Obviously Arsenio fails to realize back then when he was hot there was not many alternatives to watching him.

  6. Brad Harrison says:

    Worst pile of s***….EVER. I can't believe it has lasted this long.

  7. Trinaonelove Cobb-Allen says:

    Wishing Arsenio Hall. the best. This is a hard job, and position to be in. I give you props for returning to do what you love, and what makes you happy. Wish more people would support and understand that there is a struggle in everything we do, it's when we continue to fight and push FORWARD, that makes us champions, famous or not. Keep Pushing FORWARD, breaking down the barriers! You got this.

  8. We are in a different age not the 90's he need help from Oprah because her ratings wasn't good at first neither.

  9. They took off Friends reruns for this? That was their first mistake and the next was everytthing that followed!

  10. His guest are trying to
    Hard to male Arsenio funnier… This show isnt gonna last

  11. He looks like a female. His laughs are fake… arsenio is on something cus he is sooo slow at times! Cancel it….bring back my daily old programing before arsenio.

  12. Wishing the best for @arseniohall…

  13. Chana Devorah Schwartz says:

    oh no

  14. Helen D'Ettorre says:

    But I find the show seems to get better and better what a pity need to give him time

  15. I'd watch it but I have no idea what time and channel it's on

  16. I was recently at a taping and the party vibe and energy of the original 90's show was missing. Arsenio is still great – funny, warm, engaging. But, it seems as though he would be more successful now in a different, more mature format…ie 1-1 CNN style interviews.

  17. All the racist crap might have worked in the 80's and 90's but it doesn't cut it today! Watched a few shows, changed the channel when I heard lame racist crap.

  18. Char Inman says:

    I watched the premier show and that was enough for me. I told my husband the show was not going to last. It really sucked. Was not funny at all . I like Arsenio and was hoping he would come back with a blast.

  19. Chaim Meyer says:

    He's no longer beating Leno

  20. Nebuwah Hutip says:

    The show is stuck in the 80's.. and he's apparently still obsessed with Paula Abdul who's already made two appearances. I like Arsenio, every now and then he gets off a good one. He's in need of an update, oh and fall back a bit on the mascara. . #ewl

  21. Gotta say he's lost his mojo and in NYC, at least, Seinfeld @ 11 on WPIX is soarly missed. Perhaps Arsenio can try a day time slot

  22. I cant believe they resurrected this piece of crap boring hour of racial slurs, poor writing, and a has been front man. Scrap it now and pretend it was just a bad dream.

  23. he looks like a female? are you blind or just ignorant. He looks the same like he did back in the 90's just more thinner

  24. George Millhouse says:

    80s? think you mean the 90s

  25. Paul Plack says:

    I watched his debut week, and could not imagine it would be successful. But I've tuned in occasionally since, and as someone who's coached radio talent, I give him props for getting so many things fixed so quickly. But the show still drags compared to Leno or Fallon, and I'm pretty sick of the whites-are-racist comedy premise. If he can spend less time preening for the studio audience and keep the pace moving as needed to serve the much larger TV audience ( Leno is the benchmark for this), waste less time while promoting guests before the first commercial break, get better writing and produced bits which are actually funny and make better use of his excellent band, he has a chance. Even his current ratings could hold a niche as the "late night show for black viewers," if that's really where his heart is.

  26. Not enough energy, bad dry jokes.

    Just the woman introducing the show is dead boring. His laughs are fake.

    I hope his show improves as everyone loves a comeback.

  27. Clovis Benjamin says:

    2 much black/white comparisons – seems he a black activist in comedian/talk show host clothing. Focuses 2 much on his black pride and black vs whitie monolog.

  28. Joan Dean-Edwards says:

    very disappointed. Its almost like what was he thinking? The jokes and skits are so lame. It's cringe worthy.

  29. Joan Dean-Edwards says:

    very disappointed. Its almost like what was he thinking? The jokes and skits are so lame. It's cringe worthy.

  30. Helen D'Ettorre I agree and he needs more fan support or the show will be cancelled.

  31. BigCarlos Papadopoulos says:

    I want Arsenio Hall to do well. I think after 22 years he might just be a bit nervous. I think back in the 90's he smoked a lot of weed or something… lol but now he is talented none the less but something is missing. As I watched with a open mind I kept thinking… something is off here. Jokes not as good as they could be. Stick to current events , we live in a 24hr news cycle so make fun of thing's going on and forget the racial jokes. No religion or Politics just good old fashion comedy ! We need laughs in times like this. Love you man! PEACE!

  32. I can't shake the nagging suspicion that the comfortable predictability of the current version of The Arsenio Hall Show is deliberate. The late-night landscape has definately changed in the ensuing years since Mr. Hall bowed out. There is little shame in the realization that he cannot maintain the same prominance a second time around the block. That said, I think his return is hardly curious at a time when his former opponents (Leno and Letterman) are either retiring or of little significance. The other late-night entries are either too unique in format or style (The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and The Late Late Show) or skew to a much younger demographic (Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon). Mr. Hall may just provide the forty-plus crowd the correct mix of nostalgia (akin to Carson's final years on The Tonight Show) and orchestrated youth.

  33. Charlie Pie AlwaysPray Pierson says:

    I love Arsenio Hall!!! Arsenio, God has you no matter what people say!
    He is the only late night talk show host that can bring forth and get away with speaking on Black – White cultural differences. Arsenio, bring the "Dog Pound" back! (People loved the Dog Pound)!!!
    I don't think the parts with the relatives is going over well. Maybe more mentioning of current events rather than all the side things to fill in.
    Either way, I'm supporting your show and I wish you the best in all that you do!!! Much love <3

  34. I so agree with you. It's like he still got "it" but the style and swag that he had in the 90's is just NOT going to cut it today. I too think he should shoot for CNN style one on one interviews. Oh and he needs a little more time with his guests. it's like they come on then you blink and they are gone.

  35. Bring back the Dog Pound!!! Get rid of the announcer!!! Most of the guest are kinda wack!!! And most of all Bring Back The Dog Pound!!!

  36. When it comes to late night talk shows, Arsenio Hall is one of the nest that ever did it. His first show had some of the most classic moments. There is no debating that. I want to see Arsenio succeed so bad but I am afraid if the show keeps going at the rate that it's going, a successful show will just be a "want" and not a reality. The shows needs a slight make over like yesterday. He needs to step outside his box to make the show little edgy. Cut out those bits where people come on acting like other people, (just not funny) replace them with audience or viewer interaction. Have "Fan mail Friday" where he reads fan mail. And most of all the show needs to be UNPREDICTABLE.

  37. Helen D'Ettorre I agree, it's getting better and better. I watched and he has gotten better. it took me a week to catch back on. I think he will be ok.

  38. Julie Kulik Faltyn says:

    Unfortunately Arsenal is coming across racist and the comparison to black and whites will hurt his viewing audience. I do not see this lasting long at all. So unfortunately poor Arsenio will have a very short come back. Ratings are dropping fast and so is my respect for this show being racist over tones.

  39. I don't think God has anything to do with this show; after all haven't you heard his material this season? Vulgar, that's why I stopped watching. God will support him if he is glorifying purity and not sin. Cancel it!

  40. Yeah, I didn't care for it either. I liked the show in the 90's though. It's best to leave at the top, if you come back and bomb, you just look like a failure.

  41. Jazzy Flower says:

    First of all, the announcer is terrible. Second of all, band looks like a bunch of music robots, forcing smiles. No personality whatsoever! There is no continuity or relationships on the stage. Arsenio is engaging and yhe charisthma is still there but the skits are painful to watch and not funny. He has his moments but I hope he finds his footing.

  42. You are right on Paul; I'm Black and I have had enuf of the white Jokes. Please fix it Arsenio cause I'm a big fan.

  43. You are right on Paul; I'm Black and I have had enuf of the white Jokes. Please fix it Arsenio cause I'm a big fan.

  44. AGREE AGREE AGREE…I hope he reads this

  45. Kc Charles Okoro says:

    He should try and get the teens and younger adults to like the show

  46. happy for Arsenio , like the show hope it lasts but do agree with the stuck in time warp comment . Needs to lose the whole dog pound ruff ruff and there are too many black/white jokes

  47. ….as stale and appetizing as that last half cake donut with the sprinkles left in the conference room for a week. Goodnight, AH.

  48. You hit it right on the number!

  49. You hit it right on the number!

  50. Hard not to wish him well but I watched it and it was dry and just not funney enough.. not current!

  51. Charlie Pie AlwaysPray Pierson says:

    Courtney Goff, I don't do negative comments even if it's your opinion. No matter what, God is still and always in control.

  52. I think DL Hughley should have a late night show

  53. Sarah Necessary says:

    Too racist and overuse of drug jokes. Not appealing sorry.

  54. Anonymous says:

    Arsenio Hall is a passive racist. He will never get back to where he was. He should scrounge for parts with his buddy Eddie Murphy.

  55. Arsenio has now had TWO shows…decades apart. Both bombed; so why is he still on TV?

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