Following the power-hour of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert was always a tall order, and it seems Comedy Central late-night has its first casualty as such. The Nightly Show with host Larry Wilmore will officially come to an end this week, while Wilmore responds to the “unblackening” of his time slot.

Per The Hollywood Reporter, The Nightly Show will officially end with its 259th episode this Thursday, leaving Comedy Central to slot in Chris Hardwick’s @Midnight as a temporary replacement. No longer bolstered by Stewart’s Daily Show lead-in, the decision was said to come down to a costly contract renewals for 15 members of the Nightly Show’s on- and off-screen staff (plus Wilmore himself), a tough prospect with the show’s 0.2 in the 18-49 demo ratings.

Says Wilmore of the abrupt end:

I’m really grateful to Comedy Central, Jon Stewart, and our fans to have had this opportunity, but I’m also saddened and surprised we won’t be covering this crazy election or ‘The Unblackening’ as we’ve coined it. And keeping it 100, I guess I hadn’t counted on ‘The Unblackening’ happening to my time slot as well.

Added Comedy Central bosses, who also noted that Jessica Williams was not a replacement option:

We just didn’t feel like we had enough traction to sign up for another year. It wasn’t about the election; it’s about another year of the show. Sadly, we’ve been hoping against hope that it would start to resonate in any of those quarters and we just weren’t seeing evidence of it. As much as we like Larry and the uniqueness of the show and the voices that are on the show — not just in terms of ratings — it hasn’t resonated in terms of our fans engaging with show with consuming or sharing content or having a dialogue about it on social platforms.

Comedy Central remains committed to Trevor Noah’s Daily Show, but should the network seek out a new, more all-around talk program to replace The Nightly Show?

More From ScreenCrush