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September 3, 2015

New 'Late Shift' Book in the Works

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 11th 2010 1:26PM
The Late ShiftIf you've never read the 1994 book 'The Late Shift' by New York Times media writer Bill Carter, you've missed one of the great television books. It's a fascinating, odd, and most importantly, true (truth really is stranger than fiction when it comes to late night) look at the late night wars (the first one, not the second) that happened after Johnny Carson left 'The Tonight Show.' Now Carter says he's working on a sequel.

Carter told Keith Olbermann on MSNBC's 'Countdown' (video after the jump) that he couldn't tell him everything about what's going on in late night because he had to leave something for the book. He then said a sequel was in the works. If it's anything like the first one it will be a must-read.

'The Late Shift' was made into a goofy but entertaining film starring John Michael Higgins as Dave and Daniel Roebuck (Arzt on 'Lost') as Jay.

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The Late Shift wasn't an accurate account of what happened back then at all. Certainly not from Leno's side anyway, but then, Leno was one of the main sources for the book so it can't be trusted. Richard Kastle was actually there while the whole thing was going down: http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=518413133&blogId=526697712
Anyone who believes a stand up comedian like Leno (his 'comedy' has always been mean spirited) who has been in the business for so long, was/is just a helpless puppet in both these incidents needs their head checked.

February 28 2010 at 2:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ben Watson

Do you think the "Late Shift" will be back in print? I really want to read it!

February 11 2010 at 3:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Ben Watson's comment

I've been on a wait list at my library forever for it until I just noticed that it finally got put back into print:


February 11 2010 at 3:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ben Watson

@MattyRock23 Thank you so much! I'm going on Amazon now to buy it!

February 14 2010 at 6:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well, the original continued on to Letterman's next gig. This sequel have to wait until Conan on FOX is finalized.

February 11 2010 at 1:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I read it back in 94, I don't think Leno came off as a douche, moreso a puppet of his manager. (To be fair I am on Team Leno in this debacle so maybe I'm biased, although I was firmly on team Letterman in 93)

February 11 2010 at 1:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

A great, great book. I devoured it in '94. If more people read it, they'd realize what a douche Leno really is.

I can see Carter's challenge, though. Writing the same kind of book nowadays would be very difficult, even with his connections.

February 11 2010 at 1:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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