Unfortunately, There Will Be No More Iconic Guests on ‘Ziwe’
It’s a sad day for the internet. Showtime’s late-night talk show Ziwe, hosted and executive-produced by comedian and fashionista Ziwe, has been canceled by the network after two seasons.
The surprising cancellation, reported by multiple outlets, may have to do with a recent changing of the guard at the premium cable network. Following the exit of Showtime CEO David Nevins last year, Chris McCarthy, president and CEO of Paramount Media Networks, has rebranded the network as Paramount+ With Showtime in an attempt to better align the streamer and the linear network.
When taking over Showtime, McCarthy outlined his three priorities for potential franchises on the network, according to The Wall Street Journal: high-stakes worlds, diverse cultures, and antiheroes. In the Journal article, it was revealed that Showtime is planning up to four Billions-adjacent series, including a spin-off set in Miami, plus others titled Millions and Trillions, hoping to capitalize off the network’s long-running finance drama. Since McCarthy’s tenure, there have been a number of cancellations, including Let the Right One In, American Gigolo, and The L Word: Generation (although Showtime is reportedly working on a reboot of the original L Word, to be set in New York City), while other highly anticipated series like the Shailene Woodley–led Three Women have been dropped by the network (Three Women was ultimately picked up by Starz). Showtime has also handed out a series order to Mandy Patinkin–led family comedy Seasoned, per Deadline, and moved the Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance film Heist 88 from Paramount+ to Showtime.
The internet is already mourning the loss of the irreverent, Barbie-core late-night talk show, whose 12-episode second season ended three months ago. Premiering in May 2021, Ziwe burst onto the late-night scene, carving a name for herself with iconic and viral interviews with celebrities including Chet Hanks, Charlamagne tha God, and Julia Fox, and sketches featuring stars like Laura Benanti and Jane Krakowski. With the cancellation of Ziwe, Showtime no longer has any late-night talk show programming, as it’s other popular late-night series, Desus & Mero, ended last summer.
While Showtime is far from the only streaming platform currently undergoing a major overhaul as the streaming bubble bursts, it’s hard not to imagine that it will live to regret cutting loose Ziwe. Given that she has a book, The Book of Ziwe, set to be released this year, and that she recently walked in Paris Fashion Week and told Lisa Rinna, of all people, to “own it,” we suspect Ziwe will land on stiletto-clad feet. Until then, raise a glass to the gonzo, confrontational yet always comedic interview stylings of Ziwe.