After seven seasons of bold jokes and witty monologues, the Emmy-nominated late-night show “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” was canceled Monday by TBS.
The Twitter account for “Full Frontal” confirmed the decision Monday afternoon.
“We’re so thankful for our loyal audience, our amazing team, and that we got to annoy the right people every week—that there wasn’t wrestling or baseball or a very special episode of Big Bang,” the tweet read, poking fun at the network events for which the show had been preempted throughout its run.
After 7 seasons, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee will not be returning to TBS this fall. We’re so thankful for our loyal audience, our amazing team, and that we got to annoy the right people every week—that there wasn't wrestling or baseball or a very special episode of Big Bang.— Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (@FullFrontalSamB) July 25, 2022
“Full Frontal,” which centered the voice of one of the few women in late-night comedy, was known for its incisive political commentary. When President Donald Trump did not attend the White House correspondents’ dinner in 2017, Bee created her own counterprogramming called “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner” that aired as a special the same night. She also made controversial news of her own in 2018, when she insulted Ivanka Trump using a charged expletive; the show remained in the news cycle for weeks afterward and both Bee and TBS eventually issued an apology. And throughout her series, Bee has also been a consistent advocate for abortion rights, using “Full Frontal” to draw attention to policies and politicians limiting access to the procedure.
“It can be really difficult” to be an avid news consumer, Bee said in a 2019 phone interview with The Washington Post. But she viewed it as her job to “carve a comedic path through it.”
The cancellation of “Full Frontal” follows a trend of late-night show cutbacks: TBS and Conan O’Brien parted ways last year, NBC and Lilly Singh ended their partnership, and James Corden is leaving “The Late Late Show” in 2023.
“Bee made television history in the late night space, paving the way for female voices in what has traditionally been, and continues to be a male dominated landscape,” a representative for Bee told The Washington Post in a statement Monday. The show “consistently broke barriers with Sam and her team boldly using political satire to entertain, inform and empower viewers, while embracing critically underrepresented stories, particularly about women.”
But with just “The Amber Ruffin Show” as the sole female voice in the late-night show circulation, there’s a serious lack of gender diversity in the late-night circuit, and some of Bee’s work will be hard to replicate, especially as the United States reckons with the overturning of Roe v. Wade. In that same 2019 interview with The Post, Bee said she’d spend hours defending abortion “regardless” of her gender.
“I don’t,” she said, “feel a different responsibility because I’m the last woman standing.”