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German TV Viewers Mourn Era's End

Germany is still reeling from Monday's news that the country's favorite TV chat show host Harald Schmidt will be disappearing from German TV screens and taking a "creative break" as of December 23. After eight years of success with the award-winning "Harald Schmidt Show," the private station Sat 1 revealed that the late-night show is to be cancelled at Schmidt's request. The revelation has unleashed a media frenzy, with Germany's leading dailies devoting countless column inches to the possible causes and repercussions of the celebrity's unexpected decision – floating among other theories the possibility that Schmidt's resignation is linked to the departure of Sat 1 director Martin Hoffmann four days earlier. The nation is now wondering how Sat 1 will fill the glaring scheduling gap Schmidt leaves behind. The 1.31 million viewers who tuned in to Monday's edition of the "Harald Schmidt Show" can confirm that the entertainer's unique brand of irreverent satire is a hard act to follow.