AP reports that comedian Larry Wilmore will step into the enviable Comedy Central time slot (following Jon Stewart) that Stephen Colbert is vacating. Wilmore will host a show called Minority Report, which has nothing to do with Tom Cruise and Philip K. Dick–though Wilmore must be hoping Cruise will stop by and jump up and down on his sofa. Minority Report, like its predecessor The Colbert Report, will be produced by Jon Stewart. Wilmore is African American and the show, according to Comedy Central, will be a platform for “underrepresented voices in comedy and media.” If you ask comedians, that includes all of them, regardless of race or ethnicity!
Daily Show viewers are familiar with Wilmore, who has appeared on Stewart’s show since 2006 as “Senior Black Correspondent.” Wilmore, at 52, is three years older than Colbert and more than a decade older than Jimmy Fallon, who recently took over The Tonight Show. NBC hopes Fallon’s giant talent and relative youth (39) will freshen up its late night brand, which has been a favorite mostly among AARP magazine subscribers during Jay Leno’s final seasons. Comedy Central naturally attracts a younger demographic, more attuned to Stewart and company’s irreverence and easy profanity. The years Larry Wilmore has on his competition (Jimmy Kimmel is 46; even Stewart is younger at 51) have been very good ones for the broadly talented Wilmore, who as a veteran showrunner and one of TV’s best comedy writers for decades, fueled numerous successful productions. Groundbreaking (and career breaking) shows that Wilmore either wrote or helped create include In Living Color, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and the Bernie Mac Show, which in particular showcased Wilmore’s immense talent for mixing comedy with serious issues. By virtue of its name alone, Minority Report looks positioned to ply the same strong mix.