ENTERTAINMENT

New NBC Late-Night Show Will Have A Gender-Equal Writing Staff

Lilly Singh, who will become the only woman to host a current late-night show on a broadcast TV network, is making strides in multiple ways.

When her show premieres on NBC in September, Canadian comedian Lilly Singh will be the only woman to host a current late-night show on one of the four major broadcast TV networks — and among only a handful of women, people of color and LGBTQ people who have hosted a late-night show.

Her upcoming show, “A Little Late with Lilly Singh,” will be notable for another reason: It will be the only current late-night show to have a gender-equal team of writers. Singh’s writers’ room will include Sean O’Connor, Marina Cockenberg, Sergio Serna, Mona Mira, Jen Burton and Jonathan Giles — three women and three men — NBC announced Thursday.

The show’s gender parity is rare in the world of late-night comedy, which is still largely a boys’ club — as dramatized in the recent movie “Late Night,” starring Emma Thompson as a late-night TV host and Mindy Kaling as her show’s only female writer.

Earlier this year, NBC announced that Singh, a comedian and YouTube star, will take over the 1:35 a.m. time slot.
Earlier this year, NBC announced that Singh, a comedian and YouTube star, will take over the 1:35 a.m. time slot.

In June, the Los Angeles Times found that among the current late-night shows on broadcast, cable and streaming, none of them had writing staffs that consisted of at least 50% women. The show that is the closest to gender parity — where 5 of its 11 credited writers (45%) are women — is TBS’ “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,” (probably not coincidentally) the only show hosted by a woman.

E!’s “Busy Tonight,” hosted by actress Busy Philipps, had an all-female writing staff. But it was canceled earlier this year, among several recent female-hosted shows that went off the air.

In a statement Thursday, Singh praised her “all-star team of writers,” saying that they will help “bring a new, authentic perspective to late night.”

Lilly Singh (center), with fellow NBC hosts Jimmy Fallon (left) and Seth Meyers (right).
Lilly Singh (center), with fellow NBC hosts Jimmy Fallon (left) and Seth Meyers (right).

Earlier this year, NBC announced that Singh, a comedian and YouTube star, will take over the 1:35 a.m. time slot from longtime late-night host Carson Daly, who announced his departure in February.

“An Indian-Canadian woman with her own late night show? Now that is a dream come true,” Singh said in a statement in March. “I’m thrilled to bring it to life on NBC, and I hope my parents consider this to be as exciting as a grandchild.”

“A Little Late with Lilly Singh” will premiere on Sept. 16.

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