Simultaneously sticking up for Wilmore by claiming his slot and predecessor worked against him, and criticizing Noah for not picking up right where Stewart left off feels rather misguided. I think your point about the venn diagram between Noah and Wilmore not at all resembling that of Stewart and Colbert is most of the problem here; we were used to complementary shows, like salume and cheese on a plate, where N&W fit together like popcorn and pulled pork sandwiches, both are nice but they dont fit.
What really cant be discounted in this whole thing is how specific Wilmore’s show was, it was a substantive, less comedic or satirical panel show, sort of like a meet the press for late night, by and for the black audience. that’s not to say that as a white viewer i felt at all alienated by the show, but the ratings bear out exactly what the show was, too specific, too nichey, and a big pivot offering for a mostly young, mostly white college educated liberal audience, and however educated and liberal that audience was, clearly Fallon or Colbert’s monologue spoke to them more than Wilmore’s show, and when you look at the at midnight ratings, they seemed to pop back over to CC for that.
Wilmore’s show would have been much better suited for a less ratings dependent network that wasnt desperately trying to keep its grip on a late night hour they used to dominate shortly after two of its three biggest stars ever bolted in the same year. I do find it odd that people think this may be about the show being black led and black populated, because just like so many other shows with too narrow a vision for broad consumption, and a leading man that never seemed comfortable in his role, the show got cancelled on the merits.