Changes are Afoot at The Nite Show

Behind the Scenes
January 14, 2019

If you've been to a live taping of The Nite Show before, you know the drill. 

You show up by 5:45. You enter The Gracie Theatre and are treated to a "warm up" from Steve our audience guy before we record our first show. 

Before it's all said and done, we will have recorded 3 shows. When you factor in the possibility of recording additional songs from musical guests, retakes if something goes wrong, and breaks in between shows, the entire evening could run 2.5-3 hours. 

If you've been before, you also know that we don't lock our arriving late or leaving early is acceptable and common. 

However, starting with our next taping on Wednesday, Feb. 13, every OTHER taping for the rest of the season will be shrunk down to just two episodes. That will get our audience out the door within 2 hours time, although quite possibly less than that. 

"Why the change?" people have already asked.

It's simple. We have spent the last 8+ years producing 40 new shows a year. Given that we are only a weekly show, having 40 new shows out of 52 weeks is a feat. By comparison, SNL only produced 21 new shows in 2017-2018, "Big Bang Theory" produced 24 new shows, and "This is Us" only produced 18. We have always seen our show to be topical, and we see our best ratings when we have new episodes running. For that reason, we try to stay new. Other topical weekly shows like "Real Time with Bill Maher," "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver," and "Full Frontal with Samantha Bee" are around the same annual episode count as The Nite Show with 36, 30 and 33 new shows aired last year, respectively. But it's still fewer than 40.

After talking with a couple of people involved in other local television productions in Maine, two things became clear: 
1. 40 new shows a year is abnormal for a locally produced show.
2. We have about 30 shows a year we'd like to rerun, but only enough slots to rerun about 15 of them. So for a large number of our new episodes, after they are broadcast once they will never been seen again. 

So, we thought we'd give a slightly smaller number of new episodes a try. At the least, we anticipate seeing 36 new episodes produced in 2019, which is still 2x as many as "This is Us." The downside is that we might miss an opportunity at a guest or a skit because we have fewer shows. We already don't have enough room for all of the guests we'd like to book. But, at the same time, as of the date we're writing this, we've produced 327 new shows since coming back to television in October of 2010. If you include the shows we did in the old days, we're at 417 episodes. By comparison, Scooby Doo has only produced 384 episodes over 27 seasons. The Jay Leno Show only ran 95 new episodes, despite airing daily. 

So, we're trimming our new episodes this season. We'll see how it works. We may go back to the way we've always done it. We don't know.

What we do know is that if you come to our live taping on Wednesday, Feb. 13 or Wednesday, March 27, plan to be there for just 2 shows instead of 3.