In September 1993 still fresh off Johnny Carson’s retirement Fox Network wanted to get in the late-night talk show circuit. Dolly Parton was considered but her agent said no but recommended Chevy Chase who signs a $3 million contract. Chevy also secured the ownership right like Carson.
Fox was so confident in the show’s success they even went so far as to spend $1 million in renovating the old Aquarius Theater on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, then renaming it the Chevy Chase Theater.
Chase found it difficult to connect with his guests but was comfortable with his skits. The biggest issue was that he had trouble connecting with the audience which was apparent with many of the skits falling flat with them.
After five weeks or 29 shows, Fox pulled the plug. They promised sponsors 5-6 million viewers nightly but the average was fewer than 3 million. In the last week, it dropped below 2 million viewers.
Within 2 days of the show’s cancellation workers dismantled and painted over the Chevy Chase Theater sign. It is currently known as the Nickelodeon on Sunset and at the time of the writing, Google says it is permanently closed.
In an interview with A&E Biography interview “an entirely different concept than what was pushed on me. I would never do it again. What I wanted to have a whole different feel to it, much darker and more improv. But we never got there.”