‘Nick Cannon’ Canceled by Debmar-Mercury

Nick Cannon
'Nick Cannon' ending its run after its rookie season. (Image credit: Debmar-Mercury)

Nick Cannon – a daytime talk show starring the Masked Singer host, Wild N' Out creator and syndicated radio deejay – will not return after its rookie season, sources said Thursday. 

Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury, which produces the show, planned to tell Nick Cannon’s crew Thursday that it would be the show’s last day of production. The crew had expected to take a five-week production hiatus and then return. They will still be paid for several weeks of work even though production has concluded, sources said. Original episodes of Nick Cannon will air through May and then the show will go into repeats through the summer.

"It’s never easy to cancel a production with clear potential but, after a great deal of deliberation and examining various options, we have made the difficult business decision to end production on Nick Cannon," Debmar-Mercury co-presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein said in a statement provided to B&C. "We plan to offer viewers original episodes of the daytime talk show through the remainder of this season. Our thanks go to the very talented Nick Cannon and our wonderful production team, and we wish Nick continued success with his many hit ventures."

After delaying its launch for one year due to the pandemic and other issues, Nick Cannon finally debuted in September. The show opened at a 0.4 live plus same day national household rating, according to Nielsen, and never grew from there. 

It’s been a roller-coaster season for the Fox Television Stations, which served as Nick's launch group. Fox is also the major group behind Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams and carried Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz in several markets.

Wendy Williams was never able to return to her eponymous talker this season after going out on an extended medical leave that has evolved into a messy financial battle that’s playing out in the tabloids. As a result, Wendy Williams has been led by guest hosts all season. Two weeks ago, Debmar-Mercury announced it was canceling Wendy Williams and replacing it with a new show, Sherri, starring Wendy guest host and former View panelist Sherri Shepherd. That show premieres this fall.

Also: Sherri Shepherd's 'Sherri' to Replace 'Wendy Williams'

Last week, Fox announced it was picking up Warner Bros.’ Jennifer Hudson, starring the Oscar and Grammy winner. Where that show will run on Fox stations is  not yet determined, but there will now be open slots that had been held by Nick Cannon as well as slots held by Warner Bros.' The Real, which is also expected to end.

Also: 'Jennifer Hudson' to Debut in Syndication This Fall

In November, Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of Dr. Oz, said he was running for the U.S. Senate as a Republican in Pennsylvania, a decision that forced that show to end abruptly. Sony scrambled to mount The Good Dish, which had been airing as a segment in Dr. Oz for several years. The team behind Dr. Oz managed to turn it around quickly, and The Good Dish premiered in syndication on Monday, January 17, after the conclusion of Dr. Oz on Friday, January 14. The Good Dish didn't rise to the occasion -- hovering at around a 0.4 household rating, below Dr. Oz -- and it will not return to syndication after this season. Sony would like to find a home for it on another platform.

Also: 'The Good Dish' Serves Up Fresh Fare in Daytime

Nick Cannon seemed like a good fit for the Fox Television Stations, especially considering Cannon’s role as host of Fox’s highest-rated entertainment series, The Masked Singer. Nick Cannon was supposed to debut in syndication in fall 2020, but the pandemic forced a delay. In addition, the show was nearly scrapped in summer 2020 after Cannon made anti-semitic comments on an episode of his podcast, “Cannon’s Class,” that featured Public Enemy’s Richard “Professor Griff” Griffin. However, Cannon went on an “apology tour” and largely rehabilitated his image. 

Cannon continues to host The Masked Singer and sketch-comedy series Wild N’ Out on MTV. He also hosts a nationally syndicated radio show that airs on Power 106 in Los Angeles and on stations around the country.

Nick Cannon is shot on a soundstage at historic 106th and Park in Harlem. The show is produced by Debmar-Mercury, with Katy Murphy Davis and Matt Strauss serving as showrunners. 

Paige Albiniak

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.