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TBS to López: 'Adiós'

Apparently, América -- and the TBS cable network -- were not ready for a late night talk show host who is reflective of the country's largest ethnic minority.

TBS said adiós to George López and his late-night show last week, pointing to falling ratings that are half of those enjoyed by Conan O'Brien, the red-haired comedian who took over López's 11 p.m. Monday-Thursday slot.

"That's alright. Unemployment is at an all-time high, and for Latinos it just got a little higher," joked López last Wednesday, the day before the plug was pulled on 'López Tonight.'

On his final show, López featured actress Eva Longoria, comedian Arsenio Hall, and Los Ángeles Lakers players Derek Fisher and Ron Artest.

When Longoria appeared on his first show in 2009, said López, both were married and employed. Both are now divorced, and Longoria is entering the final season of the ABC hit show 'Desperate Housewives.' Here are five reasons López show worked and why it didn't.

Guests Worked: The audience was treated to a wider variety of guests, ranging from Carlos Santana to Kobe Bryant to Sandra Bullock to much younger singers.

Didn't work: Being the first Latino to host an English-language television show, López could have broken new ground in bringing on Spanish-language greats like Pepe Aguilar or Kate del Castillo.

Time Worked: An hour-long show starting at 11 p.m. worked great. There were no other talk shows in this time period.

Didn't work: López was gracious in moving to midnight to accommodate O'Brien's show. However, a much-later time period means fewer potential viewers are staying up that late. If you don't have a killer show, people won't stay up for it.

Skits Worked: The creepy white girl in the attic took a while to get used to. Of all the skits on the show, this one made you cringe, and tuning back for more.

Didn't work: The Chola Girl fell flat on her face. She didn't add anything new to the show.

Comedy Worked: López is a skilled comedian, and he dished zings with the best of Leno, Letterman, O'Brien and Kimmel. His monologue was the best part of the show.

Didn't work: Some comedy bits were a bit forced. For example, a game skit with Mario López that was too long on unfunny.

Miscellaneous Worked: No other talk show could match the excitement and energy of 'López Tonight.' Plus, guests received special gifts from the host, and the audience was almost on top of López and his guests.

Didn't work: No sidekick. Carson had Ed McMahon, Kimmel has Guillermo, and Letterman has his band leader. Perhaps López could have brought in his sitcom mom or someone else.

Overall, López proved he is brilliant enough and funny enough to host a late night talk show. The only question is, are the networks willing to bring him back?

Send e-mail to: jesparza@vidaenelvalle.com

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