In January, Fox announced that it would begin airing the “Half Hour News Hour” on Sunday nights, the so-called “right-wing answer to ‘The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.‘” “You can turn on any show and see Bush being bashed,” said creator Joel Surnow, producer of Fox’s 24. “There really is nothing out there for those who want satire that tilts right.” As Fox has learned, that’s because no one wants to watch that kind of satire.
TVNewser reports today that the HHNH has been canceled. In a memo to senior producers today, Fox News Corp.’s senior vice president Bill Shine announced:
Joel Surnow and I have mutually decided that we will not continue the Half Hour News Hour beyond its current 15 episode run. The last show will be presented on September 16th.
Shine claimed the reason for the shelving of the show was that Fox is “considering ways to retool the show for future scheduling needs.” He held out the chance that the show would air again: “There is still a chance you will see the program at some point in the future.”
The first show guest-starred right-wing all-stars Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter as President and Vice President. Watch a clip from a preview of the first show:
The reviews for the program were consistently dismal. Its very first review, from the Orlando Sentinel, decried the “[l]aughter, of an awfully canned variety, greets all the gags. Nothing happening on screen justifies these outbursts. … If we’re lucky, we’ll never hear of this dreadful show again.” “Sometimes the humor is so heavy-handed that it seems almost like self-parody,” said the New York Times. “The 1/2 Hour News Hour is slow torture all by itself,” said the Philadelpha Inquirer.
What the right-wing failed to grasp is Jon Stewart is funny not because he spins falsehoods but because he tells the truth.