I have frequently linked to clips from her show Full Frontal because they were topical, funny, hard-hitting, and biting. So I was saddened to learn that after seven seasons, it will not be renewed this fall.
Over the course of seven seasons, Bee’s “Full Frontal” brought an aggressive and saucy voice to TV’s late-night arena, and one of the few programs led by a female point-of-view. Bee captured attention with outrageous humor and monologues that pushed the usually genial cable network to embrace hefty amounts of profanity and tackle political issues that are often polarizing.
“We do a show to please ourselves,” Bee told Variety during an interview in 2016. “This gives us an opportunity to say the things we want in the exact way we want to say them.” In the process, her viewers get a few laughs, but also can exorcise their frustrations with modern politics and culture.
The end of “Full Frontal” comes as Warner Bros. Discovery has been cutting back on its content spend for big cable networks like TBS and TNT. To be sure, the outlets continue to feature movies and have added more nights of sports, thanks to a recent rights deal struck between Warner Bros. Discovery and the NHL. But TBS has been cutting back on scripted series, with shows such as “Chad” and “The Last O.G.” scrapped in recent weeks. Brett Weitz, general manager of TBS, TNT and TruTV, left the company in May after the cable networks were consolidated under the aegis of Warner Bros. Discovery executive Kathleen Finch. Weitz had been a strong backer of “Full Frontal.”
It seems like scripted shows are giving way to cheaper alternatives like sports and reality TV.
Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj and Conan O’Brien’s show were two very good comedy programs that also are no more.
johnson catman says
Comedy has become essential as a voice for opposition to the viewpoint of the oppressive right. Jon Stewart at The Daily Show was not the first to do so, but he fostered that in people like Samantha Bee, Hasan Minhaj, Jordan Klepper, Stephen Colbert, and John Oliver, who have all gone on to continue that type of commentary. It is not surprising that corporate heads would prefer their audience not be encouraged to think about politics rather than watch mindless entertainment.
That’s too bad… I liked Samantha Bee a lot, I also liked Hasan Minhaj although I have to admit that I hadn’t noticed him being gone until you mentioned his name.
I was also confused a bit by your use of the term “cancelled”, as that’s gotten a lot of different connotations over the last few years although you were using the original “their tv show got cancelled”.
Raging Bee says
Comedy has become essential as a voice for opposition to the viewpoint of the oppressive right…
That could be largely because corporate media simply don’t allow any left-of-center or progressive commentary unless it’s packaged and classified as “comedy,” and aired in “late-night comedy/variety show” time-slots.
While it’s disappointing that many of these shows are disappearing, this may be the “fox news” effect. Fox became less relevant and even irrelevant when OAN and other garbage “news” started broadcasting, because it was “too mainstream”.
In a reversal, many of these political comedy shows have forced corporate news to be less toadyish than they were in the 2000s. By asking tough questions and being more legitimate are reporting news than the corporate media, the big channels have been forced to actually do their jobs properly. They’re far from perfect, but it’s an improvement from being wilfully blind cheerleaders and lapdogs.