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Netflix cancels its talk shows starring Michelle Wolf and Joel McHale

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The streaming company is struggling to establish a hit talk show

Lincoln Center Corporate Fund’s Stand Up & Sing For The Arts Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Lincoln Center

Netflix has canceled The Break With Michelle Wolf and The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale; neither of the talk shows will make it to a second season. Their brief runs are the latest example of Netflix’s struggle to deliver a show in this format that can draw eyes and maintain regular viewership. The company ended Chelsea Handler’s weekly talk show — its first real foray into the genre — last October after two seasons. Chelsea initially aired three nights each week before moving to a once-weekly schedule.

Each of The Break with Michelle Wolf’s 10 episodes debuted weekly. The show began streaming in May, not long after Wolf’s controversial and profile-raising performance as host of the 2018 White House Correspondents Dinner. Wolf has served as a contributor and writer on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and Late Night with Seth Meyers. She was recently nominated for an Emmy for her HBO special Nice Lady.

The Daily Beast is reporting that The Break’s employees heard nothing about its cancelation from Netflix; they only learned of the decision with everyone else when the news started to hit Twitter on Friday.

McHale, meanwhile, sought to ride his recognition from Community and as the former longtime host of E’s The Soup, which his Netflix show closely resembled in presentation style. According to Deadline and The Hollywood Reporter, both cancelations are the result of underwhelming viewership numbers.

As for its remaining talk shows, Netflix still has Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, which it stole away from Sony’s Crackle service, and My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman. Both hosts are giants in the comedy world, so those are presumably safe from being canceled anytime soon. Netflix will try yet again to establish a fresh hit with new talk shows this year when it launches Norm Macdonald Has A Show, Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj, and panel-style talk show The Fix starring Jimmy Carr, Katherine Ryan, and D.L. Hughley.