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BET cancels ‘The Rundown With Robin Thede’

The network’s most promising show in years is now TV history

6:05 PMWednesday’s supremely disappointing news: BET has canceled The Rundown With Robin Thede, the witty weekly late-night show that made Thede the only black woman hosting a late-night show.

The Hollywood Reporter broke the news.

It can take a while for new late-night shows to find their sea legs, sometimes even multiple seasons. And part of the reason why this stings so much is that toward the end of its first — and now only — season, The Rundown was doing just that. From the start, it had an energetic, specific point of view that differentiated itself from a crowded late-night slate. Thede and her staff made meals of the NFL’s conflict with Colin Kaepernick and kneeling players. They followed the various travails of Auntie Maxine in her rhetorical duels with the president. The Rundown provided a distinctly modern comedy show centered on blackness that never condescended to its viewers.

In its later episodes, the show was starting to develop longer, more in-depth segments about folks the news media often ignore, particularly black women. There aren’t many shows that are offering that sort of lens, which is why Wyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas, with its focus on policing, is so refreshing. I was looking forward to The Rundown’s deep dives into black lives, which were sure to be just as compelling as Samantha Bee interviewing Syrian refugees or John Oliver traveling to Russia. What a shame that’s no longer what the future holds — at least not at BET.