Expect some half and half with tonight's debut of The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore

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19 January 2015

Larry Wilmore says he likes his coffee like he likes his shows, "with some half and half."

It's this type of capricious wit that charmed so many to Wilmore as the "Senior Black Correspondant" on Jon Stewart's The Daily Show, and made him a natural to take over Stephen Colbert's former spot.

The first half of The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore will open as many late night's do, with the host critquing current events. The second half is when Wilmore promises something different and hopes to separate his show from others. It will feature diverse celebrity panels offering frank perspectives on issues that showrunners say is largely missing in the late night television landscape -- or anywhere.

As an example, The New York Times' Dave Itzkoff recently suggested: "And it is hard to imagine current late-night hosts having the same latitude to crack wise about subjects like Lassana Bathily, the Malian-born Muslim employee at a kosher market in Paris who protected customers when the store was attacked by a gunman, yet who was handcuffed by police officers who mistook him for an assailant. (“The brother?” Mr. Wilmore said in disbelief. “Even in France?”)."

"It may be comic. It may be provocative. Who knows? It’ll go wherever it goes,” Wilmore told Channel Guide's Lori Acken at the Television Critic's Association winter tour recently.

We'll all be watching to see where it goes and how it goes, because following Colbert's success is difficult at best. But don't think that Wilmore isn't up for the challenge. While he may be familiar to most through his tenure on The Daily Show, Wilmore also created the critically-acclaimed and award-winning The Bernie Mac Show, which won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series in 2002, and co-created the animated show The PJs with Eddie Murphy. He has also written for shows such as In Living Color, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and The Jamie Foxx Show. Wilmore was a consulting producer on NBC’s The Office, also appearing in a few episodes. Most recently, he served as executive producer/showrunner for the launch of ABC’s hit comedy black-ish.

Tune it tonight, when Wilmore welcomes Senator Cory Booker, the rapper Talib Kweli and the comedian Bill Burr as his first panelists. 

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