9:20pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Chris Hardwick's '@Midnight' Renewed for Second Season
Comedy Central is keeping its clock set for midnight.
Host Hardwick made the announcement Monday night during an appearance on NBC's The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. The series, which features a panel of three comedians fielding timely pop culture challenges and games including #HashtagWars and Rapid Refresh, will return for a 40-week run in 2015.
The series, which picked up an Emmy nomination for outstanding interactive program, is exec produced by Hardwick, Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant, Funny or Die's Mike Farah, Serious Business' Alex Blagg, Jason Nadler and Jon Zimelis, as well as Brillstein Entertainment Partners' Alex Murray, with Jack Martin on board as showrunner. Funny or Die's Joe Farrell serves as co-EP, with Gary Mann and Tara Schuster overseeing for Comedy Central.
"@midnight has been an absolute dream come true for me — a game show of Internet jokes with my comedian friends," Hardwick said. "I cannot thank Comedy Central enough for letting us continue. If they hadn't, you can damn well bet that I would have forced people to come over to my house to play it anyway, for no audience, so everyone is thankful we dodged that bullet."
The series launched in October with a four-week trial run as Comedy Central looked to expand its late-night lineup beyond The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Following @midnight's successful launch, Comedy Central picked up 40 weeks worth of shows to air nightly Mondays through Thursdays. In its first three weeks, @midnight drew more than 450,000 viewers — besting competition from Bravo (Watch What Happens Live) and E! (Chelsea Lately) and TBS' since-canceled Pete Holmes Show. The series most recently is averaging 769,00 total viewers and ranks fourth among total viewers 18-34. Comedy Central notes the series also reaches the youngest (32 years) and most male (68 percent) of any late-night talk show.
The show comes as Hardwick's profile continues to rise in Hollywood: The Nerdist Podcast host serves in the same capacity on AMC's post-Walking Dead talk show, Talking Dead, which returns for its fourth season in October. Hardwick also hosted AMC's post-Breaking Bad talk show, which was paired with the final season of the Bryan Cranston starrer. Hardwick will host a live preshow Aug. 23 timed to the return of BBC America's Doctor Who.
Meanwhile, Hardwick is attached to produce Sleight of Mouth, a weekly comedy/variety show starring comedian/magician Justin Willman for Comedy Central and is prepping web series All-Star Celebrity Bowling for AMC.