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The Daniel Tosh era at Comedy Central is coming to an end.
In a shocking move, the ViacomCBS-owned cable network has reversed course on its January decision to renew the series for four more seasons. Instead, Tosh.0 will wrap its run with its 12th and now final season. The last 10 episodes return Sept. 15.
Sources say ViacomCBS is working with Team Tosh to shop the series to other outlets.
The decision arrives as Comedy Central, under ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth Group president Chris McCarthy, has charted a new course for the cable network. The cabler’s new strategy focuses on three areas of content: adult animation, topical series (The Daily Show) and comedic made-for-TV feature films. McCarthy has been aggressively mining the company’s vault and rebooted animated series including Beavis and Butt-Head and Ren & Stimpy and picked up a Daria spinoff, Jodie, as part of the strategy.
“I look forward to doing an animated reboot of my show on MTV in 25 years,” Tosh said in a statement Thursday.
The decision to reverse course on Tosh.0 arrives a day after Comedy Central did the same on the seventh season of Derek Waters’ Emmy-nominated series Drunk History. That show, which began production on season seven before the pandemic, ended with its recently completed sixth season. Comedy Central this month also shipped live-action scripted comedies The Other Two and South Side to HBO Max, though it will move forward with the second season of Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens.
While ViacomCBS is in the midst of broadening out CBS All Access to feature content from across the company’s portfolio, sources say The Other Two and South Side were not moved to the streaming service because they didn’t fit with CEO Bob Bakish’s plan to better integrate the platform with the company’s linear networks. CBS All Access is best known as a home for procedurals and Star Trek and not a destination for comedy. That’s a big reason why The Other Two and South Side didn’t stay in the ViacomCBS ecosystem, and likely the same reason why Tosh.0 is being shopped versus going to CBS All Access.
The January deal for Tosh.0 was for a whopping 80 new episodes that would have taken the show through its 16th season in 2024. The pact included an overall deal for comedian Tosh. The status of that pact is unclear. At the time, talks were underway for an unscripted series that Tosh would host and exec produce as well as a script deal for which he would serve as an exec producer. The renewal was overseen by Comedy Central heads of originals Sarah Babineau and Jonas Larsen, neither of whom remain at the network, which has seen a number of creatives depart amid a larger executive restructuring at parent company ViacomCBS.
On the linear network, Tosh.0 has ranked as the top original comedy Tuesdays among men 18-34 in every cable year since it launched. The January four-season renewal was not the first time the series has received a multiple-year pickup. Tosh.0 was renewed for three seasons back in 2018. The series will end its run after 11 years and more than 250 episodes, making it the longest-running weekly live-action show in Comedy Central’s history. The series finale airs Nov. 24.
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Portia de Rossi
James Gordon Meek