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Larry Wilmore and Bill Simmons are joining forces.
The former Nightly Show host is set to launch his own podcast on Simmons’ The Ringer Podcast Network. Larry Wilmore: Black on Air will launch Thursday with guest Norman Lear. Other future guests on deck include Sen. Bernie Sanders and Neil deGrasse Tyson.
“Larry is one of a kind — not just one of the best thinkers and fearless voices we have, but someone who can talk to anyone about anything,” said Simmons. “He will land a steady flow of fascinating guests, too. I think it makes perfect sense for Larry to become the 22,354,919th human being with a podcast.”
Added Wilmore: “I’m very excited to be working with Bill Simmons and The Ringer for my new podcast. Even as a kid, casting pods was something I could only dream of and now it’s here.”
The announcement comes roughly nine months after Comedy Central opted to pull the plug on Wilmore’s half-hour late-night panel show (where he interviewed Lear, Sanders and Tyson). At the time, network president Kent Alterman cited The Nightly Show‘s low viewership.
“Unfortunately, it hasn’t connected with our audience in ways that we need it to,” Alterman told THR, “both in the linear channel and in terms of multiplatform outlets and with shareable content and on social platforms as well.”
Following the cancelation news, Wilmore told THR he would be “very open” to doing another late-night show but shied away from the idea of committing to another daily production. “If I’m going to switch it up I’d really think about doing a once-a-week thing. I think it might be more suited to what I do.”
Wilmore’s gig at The Ringer keeps him in the family at HBO, which HBO invested in when it tapped Simmons to host his own weekly talk show Any Given Wednesday. Wilmore co-created the pay cabler’s acclaimed Issa Rae comedy Insecure, which returns in July for season two. He also exec produces the ABC comedy Black-ish.
His many other credits include several Showtime comedy specials, The Office and The Bernie Mac Show, for which he won an Emmy and a Peabody award.
The Ringer Podcast Network’s other top podcasts include The Bill Simmons Show, on which Wilmore recently appeared, and Against All Odds.
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