Larry Wilmore’s late night comedy talk programme ‘The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore’ is being cancelled by Comedy Central after a little over 18 months on the air, it has been announced.

The network announced on Monday (August 15th) that Wilmore’s show, which premiered in January 2015, will be coming to an end this Thursday. The programme took over from Stephen Colbert’s long-running favourite ‘The Colbert Report’ when the host jumped to CBS, and Wilmore sought to continue in the same vein of political humour, having also been an alumnus of Jon Stewart’s satirical ‘The Daily Show’ from 2006 to 2014.

Larry WilmoreComedy Central has announced it is axing 'The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore' this week

However, ratings have not been what Comedy Central would have liked, with official Nielsen ratings showing it frequently struggled to get over 150,000 viewers per episode. The newly re-vamped ‘Daily Show’, with South African Trevor Noah at the helm, logs nearly 280,000 by comparison.

“I'm really grateful to Comedy Central, Jon Stewart, and our fans to have had this opportunity,” 54 year old Wilmore said in a statement following the cancellation. “But I'm also saddened and surprised we won't be covering this crazy election, or 'The Unblackening,' as we've coined it. ... I guess I hadn't counted on 'The Unblackening' happening to my time slot as well.”

More: ‘The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore’ – everything we know about it

Comedy Central’s president Kent Alterman said in an announcement on Monday that ‘The Nightly Show…’ had been invaluable in “crafting a platform for underrepresented voices.” He said the show had steadily improved in both quality and ratings, “but unfortunately it hasn't resonated with the audience in a way that it would need to for us to continue.”

Though it represents the loss of one of very few mainstream black-hosted shows, Alterman insisted that Wilmore’s axing didn’t mean his race played any role in the decision, or that a black man or woman wouldn’t host whatever replacement show they came up with.

“We're all in with Trevor Noah,” who is black, the network's president said. “We feel so solid about Trevor and what 'The Daily Show's' doing… …We're just gonna begin development and see where we go.”

More: Stephen Colbert’s Comedy Central favourite to be replaced with Larry Wilmore