Comedy veteran Chris Rock will produce BET’s new late night talk show, “The Rundown.”
Set to premiere in the fall of 2017, the 30 minute late night show will be hosted by Robin Thede, former head writer and contributor for Comedy Central’s “Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore.” Thede is the first and only African-American woman in history to serve as head writer on a late-night comedy show.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Thede explained what viewers can expect from the series:
“We’ll have occasional musical performances. We’ll start the show with an opening sketch that will spoof something from the week. Then we’ll do the in-studio segment with the live audience where we go through the rundown. We’re only going to hit topics with a couple of jokes because it’s a literal rundown on the massive screen that says the topics that we’re going to cover.
We are not doing any 12-minute deep dives on why black lives matter. We can get into longer-form topics in the field pieces, which will be our third act.”
Thede will also executive produce alongside Rock and Jax Media’s (Full Frontal With Samantha Bee) Tony Hernandez, Lilly Burns, John Skidmore and Genevieve Aniello, according to THR.
The series, which has been ordered for 24 episodes, will focus on Thede’s “take on the week’s headlines in politics and pop culture with a fast-paced, no-holds-barred show that will feature social commentary, sketch comedy and pop culture parodies.”
Rock, who was discovered at the age of 18 by Eddie Murphy at New York’s Comedy Strip, spoke about the blatant absence of minority late night talk show hosts:
“Here’s the weird thing — and it’s a network thing — all those guys are great but are seven white guys funnier before you get to any woman or a Latino? I don’t think so. By the time they offer something to someone who is a minority, they’re too big for the job. That’s the problem. They never really take a shot with new talent when it comes to a woman or a minority. I’ll get an offer for a late-night show now, but the reality is I probably should have gotten it in 1995. That’s when Conan got it. That’s when white guys get it: on the ascension. But no one really makes that jump.
So they’ll offer Ellen the Tonight Show now when reality is they probably should have offered her the Tonight Show in 1992. Take a chance. George Lopez, they gave him a talk show 10 years after they should have given him a talk show. They waited until he was the most famous Mexican guy in the world and then he gets an offer. Michelle Wolf is as funny as can be and should have her own show.”
This isn’t BET’s first go round dabbling with late night entertainment. “The Rundown” follows “The Mo’Nique Show” which ran for two seasons in 2009 and 2010.