NBC has stocked its Peacock streaming-video hub with a handful of late-night-style series. Now it’s planning to try one of those programs on actual late-night TV.
“The Amber Ruffin Show,” a comedy-talk series that currently streams on Peacock on Friday nights, will get a limited run in the wee hours of two Saturday mornings on the NBC broadcast network. NBC will take the original Ruffin episodes that debut on Peacock on Friday, February 26, and Friday March 5, and air them at 1:30 a.m. on NBC, in place of repeats of “A Little Late with Lilly Singh.”
“Little Late” will continue to broadcast originals as expected, and will do so during the weeks of February 22 and March 1.
The move speaks to NBC’s broadening relationship with Ruffin, who has seen her profile rise since joining in 2014 the writing staff of “Late Night With Seth Meyers,” where she continues to work. Peacock in December ordered 10 additional episodes of “The Amber Ruffin Show,” extending its run. Both Meyers and his executive producer, Mike Shoemaker, are producers of Ruffin’s Peacock series.
Ruffin, a former stand-up comedian, has also become more prominent on Meyers’ show, where she appears in segments such as “Amber Says What?” and “Jokes Seth Can’t Tell.” In the wake of protests last year after the death of George Floyd, Ruffin opened a week of “Late Night” broadcasts by relating anecdotes about her experiences with police officers.
The decision could help NBC push Ruffin’s work into the consideration set. The Television Academy has decided to maintain separate categories for variety talk series and variety sketch series after previously considering the prospect of merging those categories into one. Talk and sketch shows were housed in the same category until 2015.