After eight long weeks at ITV, The Nightly Show’s first run has come to an end.
Since February, the half-hour slot usually occupied by News at Ten has been held by an array of guest hosts including Davina, Gordon Ramsey and Bradley Walsh.
The Nightly Show debuted the night after the Oscars mix-up controversy, providing week one’s host: David Walliams, with plenty of material for his opening monologue and numerous sketches.
Regardless of the comic gift that the Oscars handed him, Walliams didn’t fare well with critics or viewers voicing their opinion on Twitter.
It wasn’t until week four and familiar face to ITV, Dermot O’Leary got his hands on the network’s late-night experiment that The Nightly Show began to redeem itself after a month of ridicule and falling viewing figures.
The X Factor host was hailed as the saviour of a sinking ship, with many predicting him being handed the chat-show full time. However, he only actually hosted four shows in that week as The Nightly Show was dropped on the night of the Westminster terror attack in favour of an hour-long News at Ten. It has been speculated that this is one of the reasons O’Leary was asked to host the final week as well.
Following Dermot’s first outing, two weeks of Gordon Ramsey and Bradley Walsh received relatively positive, but not so enthusiastic reviews. Ramsey boosted the shows online presence with a compilation of his best pranks from across the week racking up over 3 million views.
Bradley brought in house-band ‘Steve Sidwell and the West End All Stars’ – who survived a second week through Jason Manford’s tenure – as well as voiceover artist Redd Pepper. These changes to the show’s presentation helped it dramatically. The band changed the dynamic in the theatre. A more pumped-up studio audience made for a more exciting and anticipated show.
It was no surprise that Manford carried the band through to his week, which was the first week that seemed to live up to the precedent that Dermot had set three weeks prior. Manford had the showmanship and the charisma that the show required, and stayed clear of the pure cringeworthy moments that Bradley Walsh seemed to revel in; such as Joe Pasquale getting his nipple pierced, and quizzing Michael Bolton on the Greater Manchester town of Bolton.
Mr Manford was the only other host who lived up to Dermot’s success, so when O’Leary returned for the eighth and final week it was assumed The Nightly Show would go out on a high.
However, Dermot’s abolition of the ‘West End All Stars’ and the voiceover left the stage feeling somewhat void of energy and enthusiasm off the back of the lively two weeks that went before.
So after two months of ups and downs, it leads us to ask: will we ever see The Nightly Show again?
Kevin Lygo, current Director of Television at ITV has speculated about the show’s return. He said that if it did return it wouldn’t be taking the 10pm slot again: “it’s likely we’ll show it at 10.30pm”.
Appearing on BBC Breakfast, David Walliams blamed his failure as host of the show’s first week on viewers’ poor reaction to the displacement of News at Ten.
Now the shows run is over, ITV can begin to consider its future: “We don’t normally make decisions on recommissions until after a series has ended.”
From Monday (April 22) News at Ten returns 10pm on ITV.
Header credit: Twitter.com/ITVNightlyShow