History Dips Toe in Late-Night Comedy Waters

History will debut Night Class, a 30-minute, “short-form, late-night comedy block” Feb. 25 at 11:30 p.m. The series that comprise the weekly block are Great Minds With Dan Harmon, Elizabeth Shapiro’s Crossroads of History, and political show How to Lose the Presidency.

“History is excited to forge new territory in the late-night landscape with compelling and bold content that will speak to a new audience,” said Paul Cabana, executive VP and head of programming. “Night Class is rooted in real fact, yet full of razor sharp humor and wit.”

Additional series will be added to the Thursday block.

Great Minds With Dan Harmon is hatched by the Community creator, who picks up a time machine, naturally, and is visited by history’s greatest minds. Comics involved include Jack Black, Sarah Silverman, Jason Sudeikis and Dana Carvey.

Crossroads of History “examines the fascinating and largely unknown moments in history that have shaped the world,” says the network. Talent includes Lou Diamond Phillips, The Office alums Brian Baumgartner and Angela Kinsey, and Wayne Knight.

How to Lose the Presidency, for its part, “showcases real clips of embarrassing moments and mistakes from Howard Dean’s scream heard round the world and Rick Perry’s time of forgetfulness to outrageous moments in the current presidential campaign,” says History.

History's late-night initiative comes as the segment is booming, with cable players such as Full Frontal With Samantha Bee joining the usual broadcast suspects.

History reaches more than 96 million homes.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone is content director at B+C and Multichannel News. He joined B+C in 2005 and has covered network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television, including writing the "Local News Close-Up" market profiles. He also hosted the podcasts "Busted Pilot" and "Series Business." His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The L.A. Times, The Boston Globe and New York magazine.