Something was different about Full Frontal with Samantha Bee's return to TBS last week, after its holiday hiatus. The program aired on Wednesday, its new weekly time slot, instead of Monday.
What prompted to move to Wednesdays this year? "Kidney failure," executive producer Jo Miller said at the Television Critics Assocation's winter press tour in Pasadena, Calif. Producing a show to air every Monday was overwhelming, but shifting the show to Wednesday helped alleviate that problem.
"We wanted to move to Wednesday for a very, very long time," said Bee, Adweek's TV Creator of the Year. "It was just a better place for us to be," and allows her and her staff to have a better work-life balance. "We love it so much. It's a better schedule for us."
Miller noted that because Full Frontal didn't air until Wednesday, it allowed them to incorporate "pissgate"—i.e., BuzzFeed's Tuesday night report that Donald Trump had allegedly paid Russian prostitutes to urinate on a hotel bed—into Wednesday's episode.
Added Bee, "it was a golden shower of opportunity."
Bee was asked how she manages to maintain her level of outrage on each episode of Full Frontal. "I'm very glad I only have to do it once a week," she said. "It's a very cleansing and cathartic experience for me" and allows her to live her "normal" life outside the show for the rest of the week.
That's yet another reason why, as Bee told Adweek last spring, she has no interest in during Full Frontal more than once a week.
Plus, dealing with Trump is hard enough with a once-a-week show, given how he resets the news cycle several times a day. "It's a trying experience to wake up and have a fresh new world presented to you every day," said Bee.
Bee said the vitriol she and her staff receive from Trump supporters as a result of Full Frontal "doesn't weigh us down," but noted, "we're thinking more carefully about our presence in the world."
Quipped Miller, "No one has sent us fake anthrax yet, so I feel like we haven't arrived."
Miller dismissed a reporter's observation that a Trump presidency will be a comedic goldmine for Full Frontal. "It's not fun," she said of writing jokes about Trump. "We had a blast covering Ted Cruz. That was fun."
Bee and Miller downplayed the effect that shows like Full Frontal and their previous home, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, had in keeping cable news honest and taking them to task for erroneous/ridiculous on-air moments.
"Tucker Carlson just got Megyn [Kelly's 9 p.m.] spot, so you can see how much people like Jon and us have impacted things," said Miller.