On Comedy Central it will be “The Minority Report” and the host will be the “senior black correspondent” from “The Daily Show” — otherwise known as Larry Wilmore.
Comedy Central has concluded a deal with Jon Stewart’s production company, Busboy Productions, to create the follow-up show to the Emmy-winning “Colbert Report,” which will be coming to an end in the next year when its star, Stephen Colbert, leaves to succeed David Letterman on CBS’s “Late Show.”
The idea for “The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore,” as the show will be known, came from Mr. Stewart himself, who proposed that the 11:30 p.m. time period behind his nightly “Daily Show” was the ideal place for a new format, one that would “provide an opportunity for the underrepresented voices out there,” as Michele Ganeless, the president of Comedy Central said in an interview.
The idea is to have a panel of those voices led by Mr. Wilmore, commenting on the issues of the day — but in a comedic, scripted format, Ms. Ganeless said. “We are so excited to have a fresh idea for late night.” She emphasized that the panel would not simply address minority issues, but any and all issues, except from minority points of view.
The show will work out the specifics of the format over the next eight months, Ms. Ganeless said.
Mr. Colbert will work on “The Colbert Report” until Dec. 17. “The Minority Report” will be introduced in January.
Mr. Wilmore, a well-regarded comedy performer and writer, has been a regular presence on Mr. Stewart’s “Daily Show” since 2006, usually commenting satirically on issues dealing with racial attitudes in America.
He has also been a successful writer for television, having created the widely praised series “The Bernie Mac Show” and written for other shows, like “The Office” (where he also memorably played “Mr. Brown” in one of that comedy’s signature episodes), “In Living Color,” “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” and “The Jamie Foxx Show.”
As an actor he has appeared in movies like “Dinner for Schmucks” and TV shows including “Love Bites” and “Happy Endings.” He is also the author of the 2009 book, “I’d Rather We Got Casinos And Other Black Thoughts.”
Mr. Wilmore, who is 52, attended California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.
The roster of correspondents and commentators for “The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore” will be named later.
With Mr. Colbert’s impending departure, along with the decision by Craig Ferguson to leave his CBS show, much attention has been focused on whether a woman or member of a minority group would be added to the competition in late-night comedy. Mr. Wilmore’s name was among several suggested for the Comedy Central opening.
Earlier this week, ABC ordered a new sitcom called “Black-ish,” and Mr. Wilmore was listed as an executive producer. He was expected to be the show runner on that series, a role he will have to give up to accept the starring position on “The Minority Report.”
The new show on Comedy Central is the latest move in what has been several months of upheaval in late-night television. Jimmy Fallon took over NBC’s “Tonight” show in February, with Seth Meyers succeeding him in that network’s “Late Night” show a week later.
In April, Mr. Letterman announced his decision to retire next year. CBS moved quickly to hire Mr. Colbert a week later. Mr. Ferguson, the other CBS late-night host, waited less than two weeks before he announced his own decision to leave the network.
After all the turmoil, only the 12:35 show on CBS remains unfilled.
By BILL CARTER