These days, it seems like any celebrity can get their own talk show if they wish. With so many competitors, celebrities have their work cut out for them if they want to avoid being canceled. From lack of audience appeal to behind-the-scene tensions, here’s why these celebrity talk shows got the boot.
Critics Didn’t Approve Of Brand X With Russell Brand
Russell Brand is known for being a standout character, but not everyone is a fan of the eccentric comedian. In 2012, the actor brought his candid commentary to the world of late-night television with his series Brand X with Russell Brand.
FX was the brave network that decided to take a chance on Brand, but they later canceled the show due to poor reviews. The Daily Mail condemned Brand’s “tasteless jokes,” while the Los Angeles Times noted that not even the live audience seemed amused. Brand X survived two seasons before getting the boot.
Kris Jenner’s Name Wasn’t Enough To Hold Up Her Talk Show
Kris Jenner’s eponymous talk show was expected to succeed, considering her experience turning her entire family into reality TV celebrities. Still, Kris’s famous name and history weren’t enough to hold up the series. The show didn’t even make it past a six-week test run.
Fox’s senior vice president of programming, Frank Cichas, got candid about his thoughts on Kris in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. He stated, “When the camera was on she looked not just like a deer in the headlights, but like a deer that already got hit.” Ouch!
Anderson Cooper’s Rebranding Attempt Didn’t Work
Anderson Cooper is known for being an anchorman, but in 2011 he decided to try his hand at hosting a daytime talk show. Cooper both hosted and executively produced his show, which gave him some leeway when the first season was met with low ratings.
Cooper and his team worked to rebrand the show, changed the name from Anderson to Anderson Live, and reimagined the set design. Even with these changes, the show failed to perform well and Warner Bros. Television canceled it after two seasons.
Ellen Ended Her Show Shortly After Toxic Work Allegations
The Ellen DeGeneres Show found major success, garnering a stunning 171 Daytime Emmy Award nominations, 61 of which it won! The show attracted more than 4 million viewers but lost about a quarter of them after toxic workplace allegations hit the media.
Negative feedback about the show’s behind-the-scenes environment became public in 2020, which spurred a WarnerMedia investigation. Three executive producers were fired as a result, and DeGeneres apologized and vowed to improve the culture. In May 2021, the host announced that season 19 would be the last. She told The Hollywood Reporter that the series was “just not a challenge anymore.”
FABLife Couldn’t Go On Without Tyra Banks
Tyra Banks is no stranger to hosting television shows. After leading the highly successful reality series America’s Next Top Model, Banks took on daytime television. The Tyra Banks Show scored multiple Emmys in its 5 seasons, so she seemed like a shoo-in host for FABlife.
Banks’ next daytime talk show included model Chrissy Teigen, fashion editor Joe Zee, interior designer Lauren Makk, and YouTube star Leah Ashley as co-hosts. Even with such a standout team, the show couldn’t survive when Tyra Banks left halfway into season 1. ABC/Disney announced the following January that FABlife wouldn’t have a second season.
The Ricki Lake Show Tanked After One Season
If anyone should be able to make it in the world of talk shows, it’s Ricki Lake. The actress’s highly successful ’90s talk show lasted for more than a decade! Lake returned to daytime television eight years later with The Ricki Lake Show.
You would think that her second talk show would be just as much of a hit as the first, but the opposite was true. Lake was both the host and the producer, but even she couldn’t compete against newer talk shows. 20th Television canceled the series after one season due to low ratings and viewership.
The Rosie Show Didn’t Attract Enough Viewers
Part of what made Rosie O’Donnell such a well-known celebrity was her eponymous talk show that debuted in the ’90s and ran for five years. That talk show ended only because O’Donnell walked away from it, but that wasn’t the case for her second talk show.
In 2012, The Rosie Show premiered on OWN, but the ratings weren’t like her first series. Instead, top guests started rejecting offers to come back. Due to low viewership, OWN decided to cancel the talk show after just one season.
Queen Latifah’s Award-Winning Show Flopped… Twice
Rapper, actress, and producer Queen Latifah landed a talk show for the first time in 1999. The Queen Latifah Show featured both celebrities and non-celebrities and was called the “Dear Abby for the Hip-Hop Generation.” Still, the series came to an end in 2001.
More than a decade later, Sony Pictures Television decided to revive The Queen Latifah Show. It premiered for the second time in 2013 and had stellar ratings upon its launch. Latifah even won the People’s Choice Award for Favorite New Talk Show Host in 2014. Still, dwindling ratings in the second season led to another cancelation.
George Lopez Accused TBS Of Not Wanting His Show
Shortly after George Lopez’s eponymous sitcom came to a close, the comedian decided to try his hand at late-night television. His show, Lopez Tonight, successfully garnered a diverse fan base, but things came crashing down when it got bumped to a later time slot.
Reportedly, TBS made the move so that Conan could air at that time instead. In a statement to HuffPost, Lopez accused the network of not wanting the show, or more specifically, the demographic. He claimed that TBS played it safe rather than taking his show to the next level. In any event, Lopez Tonight was canceled after two seasons.
Johnson’s The Magic Hour Lacked Magic
Though Magic Johnson had a slamdunk career in the NBA, his success didn’t translate to late-night television. Johnson’s talk show, The Magic Hour, debuted in 1998 and was promptly met with long ratings.
Critics accused the show of being dull, which is ironic given the name. One episode that was anything but dull featured Howard Stern, a known skeptic of the show. Though Stern’s harsh conversation with Johnson, who he loved to mock, spiked ratings, it wasn’t enough. After just two months, 20th Century Fox canceled The Magic Hour.
Harry Connick Jr.’s Show Gradually Declined
Harry Connick Jr. is a multitalented and charismatic celebrity, so it only made sense that he was given his own talk show. Harry debuted in 2016 and went on to garner five Daytime Emmy Award nominations! Despite its success, the show was met with mixed reviews.
The ratings declined over the course of the two seasons the show was on the air. When NBCUniversal Television announced that they wouldn’t be renewing it, Connick Jr. maintained a positive outlook. The musician stated that he was very proud of the show and promised to “continue to find avenues to uplift our country.”
The Chevy Chase Show Was Famously Criticized
Though Chevy Chase was loved by many fans for his performances on SNL and blockbuster films, that admiration quickly turned into disdain following his failed late-night talk show. The Chevy Chase Show became one of the most critically panned talk shows to date.
Entertainment Weekly accused Chase of giving “vulgarity a bad name” and gave the show an F rating. Time said Chase “succeeded at nothing.” Unsurprisingly, the show brought in half as many viewers as was promised to advertisers. Fox canceled the show after just five weeks on the air.
Busy Philipps’ Busy Tonight Lacked Personality
Busy Philipps landed her own late-night talk show in 2018, cleverly titled Busy Tonight. Despite the show’s long list of celebrity guests and original comedic segments, E! canceled the series after one season.
The news came as a surprise to Philipps, who responded to the cancellation on Instagram by saying, “I don’t know what to say.” Some critic reviews shed light on what may have been the faulty screw in the series. Variety’s Daniel D’Addario accused the show of lacking personality, while The Ringer’s Rob Harvilla called it “tough sledding.”
The Bonnie Hunt Show Ended Despite Emmy Nominations
One of the more mysterious talk show endings was The Bonnie Hunt Show, which garnered three Emmy nominations in its first season and again in its second season. As an actress, comedian, director, producer, and writer, Hunt knew all the ins and outs of the industry.
Her expertise translated on her show, which won the Gracie Award for Best Talk Show in 2009. The same year, it was announced that The Bonnie Hunt Show wouldn’t return for a third season. Warner Bros. reportedly canceled the show due to low ratings, which is surprising considering all of the positive reception.
The Wanda Sykes Show Only Lasted A Single Season
Wanda Sykes first came to prominence due to her stellar writing skills for The Chris Rock Show, which landed her an Emmy. Sykes has also found success as a comedian and actor, so she seemed like a shoo-in for hosting a successful talk show.
The Wanda Sykes Show debuted in 2009 and featured comedian Keith Robinson as a co-star. Even though Entertainment Weekly named Sykes one of the 25 funniest people in America, her humor failed to turn out high ratings. Fox canceled the show after one season, which left the network void of an original late-night program for the first time in 15 years.
Kocktails With Khloé Had Behind-The-Scenes Disagreements
Khloé Kardashian was famous for her loud personality on Keeping Up With the Kardashians, so she seemed like the perfect person to host her own talk show. In 2016, her show Kocktails with Khloé debuted on FYI.
The series had 14 episodes that were successful in terms of ratings, so why was it canceled? A source told Page Six that behind the scenes, things weren’t going so well. The source called it “chaos,” explaining that there were disagreements about the direction the series should take. Another individual stated that everyone had “had enough” of Khloé’s sense of control.
Megan Mullally Didn’t Live Up To Her Will & Grace Persona
Megan Mullally is largely known for her outlandish role as Karen Walker in the sitcom Will & Grace. Karen is such a popular part of Mullally’s career that early promotions of The Megan Mullally Show even featured the host acting as the character.
The talk show debuted on TBS in 2006, but it fell flat for audiences who expected to see more of Karen’s personality as opposed to Mullally’s normal self. Fox News called the show “a bit dull and ordinary,” which isn’t enough to compete with other talk shows. NBCUniversal Television canceled the series in January of 2007 due to low ratings.
The Jeff Probst Show Had Continuously Declining Ratings
Jeff Probst’s long-lasting role as the host of Survivor makes him a familiar face to audiences. Still, that wasn’t enough to attract audiences to his talk show. The Jeff Probst Show premiered on CBS in 2013 and had unimpressive ratings right away.
To try to boost the show’s appeal, they brought on Lisa Whelchel as a co-host. Though Whelchel starred on Facts of Life, her fame couldn’t elevate Probst’s show and it continued to decline in ratings. After one season, CBS canceled the show. Probst told The Hollywood Reporter that he was both “bummed” and “proud” of the short-lived show.
Tempestt Bledsoe Couldn’t Compete With Ricki Lake
The Cosby Show star Tempestt Bledsoe landed her own talk show in 1995. At the time, Ricki Lake was picking up steam, and producers wanted to create a lighter version of her show. As a result, The Tempestt Bledsoe Show aired on stations that also featured Ricki Lake.
The idea was to attract a similar audience; one that consisted of young adults in urban areas. As would become more apparent in later years, Lake was a force to be reckoned with, and ultimately Bledsoe didn’t achieve the ratings necessary to garner a second season.
Bethenny Frankel Was Relieved Her Show Was Canceled
The Real Housewives of New York star Bethenny Frankel may have been too outlandish for daytime television. At least, that’s how she felt when her talk show, Bethenny, was ultimately canceled.
Though the show had fair ratings, Frankel realized that being a talk show host wasn’t the best match for her personality. In an open letter to her fans, Frankel explained that being on the show had made her feel “diluted, filtered, and somewhat constricted.” The reality star at least got to experience hosting her own show for a full season.