'Drunk History' Canceled at Comedy Central

Drunk History-Derek Waters -Comedy Central-H 2016
Courtesy of Comedy Central

The ViacomCBS-owned cable network has reversed course on plans for a seventh season of the Derek Waters series.

Drunk History just got some sobering news.

Comedy Central has reversed course on plans for a seventh season of the Derek Waters series. The sixth season, which ended its run Aug. 6, will now be its last. Production had been underway on season seven of the series before the pandemic.

With production shut down on the series, which features Waters and drunken celebrities while recounting history interweaved with elaborate re-enactments, Comedy Central changed its programming direction and the decision was made to abandon the 16-episode seventh season that was originally announced a year ago.

Drunk History has been a cash cow for ViacomCBS, which has successfully licensed the series in multiple territories around the world. Waters, meanwhile, is under a first-look deal with the ViacomCBS-owned cable network and is expected to develop new content for the company.

ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth Group president Chris McCarthy has charted a new course for Comedy Central, focusing content on adult animation, topical series and comedic made-for-TV feature films. He has aggressively been mining the company's vault and rebooted series including Beavis and Butt-head, Ren & Stimpy and picked up a Daria spinoff, Jodie.

That leaves live-action originals, like Drunk History, largely out in the cold.

Last week, Comedy Central moved scripted series The Other Two and South Side to HBO Max, where they will air as originals. Remaining comedy Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens will continue to air on Comedy Central.The decision to license South Side and The Other Two to a rival streamer, HBO Max, is part of a larger strategy at play at ViacomCBS.

While the conglomerate is making plans to broaden out its own streamer, CBS All Access, the plan in the interim, per sources, is to sell programs that don't fit on internal platforms and cash in as a studio.

Meanwhile, the company is licensing library fare to outlets including Peacock and HBO Max in a bid to broaden the audience for programs before bringing them back home to CBS All Access, where they'll be joined by new content as Beavis and Butt-Head and have a more cohesive programming brand.