The Late-Night Shakeup Continues as TNT Orders a Pilot Featuring Niecy Nash

The Claws star could fill the void left by canceled shows from Robin Thede and Michelle Wolf

Niecy Nash, who stars on TNT's Claws, will pull double-duty if her late-night show is picked up to series. Skip Bolen/TNT
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It’s been a brutal summer for late-night shows, with five of them getting the ax in the last two months. Now TNT hopes to fill the void by ordering a new pilot for a late-night show featuring its Claws star, Niecy Nash.

The pilot, which will be called Naked With Niecy Nash, will be based around Nash’s outrageous persona, which she channeled in her 2013 best-selling book It’s Hard to Fight Naked. TNT said Nash will hold forth on love, sex, romance and other relationships.

“I’m so excited to add my voice to the late-night landscape,” said Nash in a statement. “Love is the thing we were created for but it’s also the place we struggle the most … until now! This is going to be a fun and sexy ride!”

Nash will continue on Claws, which last month was renewed for Season 3.

“Niecy’s award-nominated work in our hit series, Claws, doesn’t even begin to cover the range of talent she can bring to television,” said Sarah Aubrey, evp of original programming for TNT, in a statement. “Her improvisational skills, laugh-out-loud sense of humor, honesty, and thoughtfulness about the subjects of love and relationships made her book, It’s Hard to Fight Naked, a best-seller, and make [showrunner] Sue Murphy and Niecy Nash the perfect team to bring this type of playful show to TNT. Despite the title, Niecy will be doing the pilot fully-clothed.”

If Naked With Niecy Nash is ordered to series, it would give TNT a foothold in the genre alongside sister network TBS. That network airs Conan, which will shift to a half-hour format next year, and Full Frontal With Samantha Bee.

TNT’s pilot order is the latest in a series of wild late-night moves this summer. In June, Comedy Central canceled The Opposition With Jordan Klepper, but said that Klepper will return in a weekly series next year. Around the same time, duo Desus and Mero ended their buzzy Viceland show, after signing a deal for a weekly late-night show on Showtime, which will air next year.

Last month, BET pulled the plug on its critically-acclaimed The Rundown With Robin Thede, while Netflix canceled a pair of late-night-themed shows on Friday, from Michelle Wolff and Joel McHale.

The Thede and Wolf departures considerably thinned out the number of late-night shows hosted by women, though Busy Philipps’s new E! late-night series, Busy Tonight, will debut on Oct. 28. (That same night, Netflix takes another stab at the genre when it premieres Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj, featuring the former Daily Show correspondent.)

Naked With Niecy Nash is a co-production between Turner’s Studio T and Warner Bros.’ Telepictures. Nash will also be a producer through her production company, Chocolate Chick.

Murphy, who was an executive producer on Chelsea Handler’s Netflix and E! talk shows, will be executive producer and showrunner.

@jasonlynch Jason Lynch is TV Editor at Adweek, overseeing trends, technology, personalities and programming across broadcast, cable and streaming video.