Comedy duo Desus & Mero have kept their brand strong since joining forces in 2012 but the newly-appointed CEO of Vice believes their move to Showtime wasn't the best decision.
In an interview with Elle, Nancy Dubuc shared her plans to rebuild the outlet since reports of sexual harassment allegations, unlawful HR practices and the stepping down of Shane Smith came to light this year. Changing the bro culture has removed content and replacing it with more substantial content and finding gems that will also replace the gap left by Desus & Mero.
The guys brought high ratings to the network during their reign from August 2016 to June 2018, but Dubuc doesn't see this happening for their upcoming series at Showtime. “They’re going to a platform that their audience doesn’t pay for,” she said. “I told them, ‘You can always come back.’”
In an interview with Bossip over the summer, the guys revealed their contracts were cut two months early after news about their deal with Showtime went public. They show consisted of the two commentating on the latest in politics and pop culture while interviewing big names like Gabrielle Union, Rachel Maddow, Diddy, Vic Mensa and Tracee Ellis Ross. They also opened up about their organic approach in comedy was nearly butchered when the network demanded them to work 24/7.
“We were carrying that network on our back, and we felt the weight,” Desus said. “They were talking about, ‘Do not take the weeks off because we don’t get ratings,’ and it’s like, 'Yo, we’re just two people.'”
“We were literally the LeBron of that network,” Mero added. “As a dad, you wanna be around for milestones for like graduations, birthdays…and it’s obnoxious to have to be like, ‘I can’t go to my kid’s graduation because we leave the studio at 3 o’clock and the graduation is at 4.’”
Mero believed the duo were undervalued and not appreciated by the network until it was too late. Their brand transcended platforms as the guys are still active on Twitter and their podcast roots, taking the brand to new heights.
“The channel wanted us to die for this f**king network,” Desus said at the time. “We’re also the highest rated show on the network, put some respect on our name, have someone come massage my feet.”
We doubt the duo will go back to Vice as excitement for their series on Showtime continues to grow. The guys are already making strides by adding black women to their writing team and recently dropped a teaser for the show.
The brand is strong. #DESUSandMERO are bringing the culture to #Showtime beginning Thurs, Feb 21, at 11p/10c! #BodegaHive pic.twitter.com/3DwcWXgrEO
— Desus & Mero on SHOWTIME (@SHODesusAndMero) November 29, 2018
Desus and Mero will premiere on Showtime Feb. 21 at 11 pm ET.
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