TBS Cancels Samantha Bee’s Show—Making Late-Night TV Nearly All Male Again

TBS Cancels Samantha Bee’s Show—Making Late-Night TV Nearly All Male Again


Late-night program Full Frontal With Samantha Bee was canceled Monday after seven seasons on cable network TBS, ending one of the few late-night television talk shows hosted by a woman.

Samantha Bee speaks onstage during “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee”’s Not The White House … [+] Correspondents Dinner on April 26, 2019, in Washington, D.C.

Getty Images for TBS

Key Facts

In a statement, TBS said as it continues “to shape our new programming strategy, we’ve made some difficult, business-based decisions.”

The network thanked the host and her team “for their groundbreaking work.”


Bee gained a following from her time as a correspondent on The Daily Show, where she spent 12 years. Full Frontal began on TBS in 2016, and aired weekly.

Key Background

Late-night TV is dominated by male hosts. NBC has The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Meyers, ABC has Jimmy Kimmel Live! and CBS is home to Stephen Colbert’s The Late Show and James Corden’s The Late Late Show, which will end in 2023. On the cable side, HBO has John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight and Comedy Central has Trevor Noah’s The Daily Show. Besides Full Frontal, only a handful of late night shows have been helmed by women in recent years. Female comedian Lilly Singh had a short run on NBC with A Little Late from 2019 to 2021, while Busy Phillipps hosted Busy Tonight on E! from 2018 to 2019, and comedian Ziwe hosts an eponymous talk show on Showtime. Amber Ruffin, a breakout star from Seth Meyers’ show, also has a talk show on NBC’s streaming service Peacock. Chelsea Handler, who hosted Chelsea Lately on E! for seven seasons and recently subbed in for Jimmy Kimmel, said she would be interested in returning to late-night TV. Joan Rivers—who frequently filled in for Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show—became the first woman to host a late-night show on a major network in 1986, with a show on Fox that lasted less than a year, while other groundbreaking female late-night hosts have included Mo’Nique, Kathy Griffin and Robyn Thede, all of whom briefly hosted shows on cable networks.

Further Reading

Samantha Bee’s ‘Full Frontal’ Canceled in Latest Late-Night Cutback (Variety)

‘Full Frontal With Samantha Bee’ Canceled at TBS After 7 Seasons (The Wrap)

‘Full Frontal With Samantha Bee’ Axed At TBS After Seven Seasons (Deadline)