Ahead of the series premiere of TBS’s Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, The New York Times interviewed the Daily Show alum as well as her executive producers Miles Kahn and Jo Miller about their hiring process, what format the show will take, and how the team is feeling leading up to their big premiere on Monday, February 8th. “Maybe I should be more panicky about it,” Bee says in the interview, “but I actually feel pretty mellow. I’m really confident.” Bee also revealed that the Full Frontal writing staff is about a 50/50 split between men and women, and elsewhere in the piece, Miller looks back on one of the things that happened often at The Daily Show that illustrates the current problem of gender disparity on late night staffs:
Now the show runner of Full Frontal, Ms. Miller said that at The Daily Show, whenever its departing college interns were asked if they wanted to continue in the industry, the responses always broke down along gender lines. “It’s always, ‘I’m Kyle – yeah, I’m going to be a writer,’” Ms. Miller said. “‘I’m John, I want to be a writer.’ ‘I’m Melinda, I don’t know, maybe. I’m not really good enough. Maybe someday.” Ms. Miller added: “Somewhere in between the unearned overconfidence of the young men, and the unwarranted self-censorship of the young women, the truth lies. None of you are good enough yet, but apply and you’ll get better.”
On what the format of Full Frontal might be, which will include contributors:
The show’s format, she said, is still a work in progress but is likely to feature a mix of “big headlines,” field pieces (featuring Ms. Bee as well as other contributors) and other “grab bag” segments. “We are still putting ideas and research into our little buckets,” she said.
The piece also features a disappointing piece of Daily Show trivia; despite being the show’s longest-serving correspondent, Bee wasn’t even approached about the possibility of replacing Jon Stewart: “I loved The Daily Show. But it is a machine that’s already running. And it could run with me — it could run without me. This is a much better experience and a much better fit.” Bee’s husband Jason Jones was a little more direct: “The fact that she wasn’t approached was a little shocking, to say the least. But I think she is much happier where she ended up.”
Read the rest of the interview over at NYT.