While at winter press tour, I sat down with Larry Wilmore to talk about his succeeding Stephen Colbert as Comedy Central’s new 11:30 p.m. late-night host for this Adweek profile. His new show, The Nightly Report with Larry Wilmore, kicked off this week. But as Wilmore told me, the show was originally supposed to be called The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore before Fox began developing a series based on the 2002 Tom Cruise film:
We made the call on the field, so to speak, before it really got too late. Part of our constructing the show was understanding how the audience sees content these days. They see it through social platforms—Twitter, Facebook—so your show has to live in those environments. And it was becoming very difficult to operate in those environments and having to use The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore as a complete tag all the time. We were being confined legally by doing that in all forms of everything, and it was becoming a nightmare. And I thought, “Guys, I don’t want it to be March and we have to change our name, after we’ve already been on.” I said, “Let’s just do it now, before it really came to a head.” It was in late October or early November, so there was still enough time. But the show didn’t change, only the name did.
Wilmore also talked about stepping down as Black-ish showrunner to take the Comedy Central job, how TV has changed since he launched The PJs and The Bernie Mac Show and how John Oliver’s recent late-night success has emboldened him.