First, Alec Baldwin got suspended from MSNBC due to making homophobic remarks in public. Then, the always outspoken actor/host took to his Huffington Post blog, venting his anger and frustration over what he perceived as unfair treatment by both his employer and the public at large. He even implied that he might quit show business entirely over it.
As you might imagine, choosing to follow a controversial public rant with another controversial public rant did nothing to endear Baldwin to MSNBC executives, with things coming to a head earlier today. Baldwin's speculation that 'Up Late' might not return following its two week suspension has turned out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy, as reps for both he and the network have confirmed that 'Up Late' is done, effective immediately.
The decision is being billed as a "mutual parting" of the ways, although that could obviously be Hollywood spin for "get the hell out Baldwin, and don't let the door hit you in the backside as you leave." The truth is, we don't know, and probably won't ever know how amicable this split actually is.
All in all, the aborted five week run of 'Up Late with Alec Baldwin' will likely end up as a mere footnote in the history of cable news. 'Up Late' was MSNBC's first real stab at a celebrity interview series, and it barely moved the needle ratings wise. The final episode to air drew only 395,000 viewers, which is unimpressive even by basic cable late night standards. It will probably be the last time any cable news channel tries this type of show, at least for awhile.
Did Alec Baldwin deserve to get canned? Or did MSNBC treat him unfairly?