When D.L. Hughley began his weekly weekend hour on CNN last fall, he joked about moving to New York City and the cold weather. Hughley, who turns 45 today (happy birthday!), didn't quite make it through his first winter, announcing yesterday (just a day before spring weather has arrived, coincidentally) that he was putting an end to D.L. Hughley Breaks the News and moving to Los Angeles. Hughley tried to convince CNN to move the show with him, but the network didn't have the budget for it. Some on the Internets have claimed that critics savaged the program, when the truth is, most TV critics didn't bother to pay attention to the experiment of giving an hour of CNN's news programming to a stand-up comedian. Actually, if you Google D.L. Hughley CNN review, my review comes up first. There were some missteps in the early weeks, mostly when they tried to force the comedy and especially anytime an actual CNN anchor or reporter attempted humor. But the idea of injecting Hughley into the news gave a fresh perspective on a lot of timely topics.
Last weekend, Hughley had a prolonged discussion with Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele and Chuck D about the idea of bringing a "hip-hop" sensibility to the GOP. It was interesting stuff, and one comment in particular got right-wingers riled up…perhaps they don't like being compared to Nazis?
As for ratings, Hughley was doing OK. Last Saturday's 10 p.m. show drew 443,000 total viewers, and the rebroadcast at 11 p.m. Sunday attracted 488,000 viewers. In a statement, CNN said: "D.L. approached CNN about being permanently based in Los Angeles, where his family lives. To accommodate this, we agreed upon a new role where he will be a contributor for the network based in Los Angeles. We are eager to continue our relationship with D.L., who is a tremendous talent and a valued colleague."