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October 1, 2014

Kevin Eubanks

Kathy Griffin Says 'My Life on the D-List' is Over, Kevin Eubanks Will Return to 'The Tonight Show' and More

by Chris Harnick, posted Nov 17th 2010 7:00PM
Kathy GriffinYou better put your box of wine down before you read this: Kathy Griffin told Entertainment Weekly that her hit reality show, 'My Life on the D-List,' is over.

The Emmy-winner told EW that she's unsure of the show's future and format. "I don't think it will come back, especially not as the same show it was," Griffin said. "I would love to do a hybrid show, like a half-scripted kind of thing or something based on what I built on 'My Life on the D-List' and what I experience, but not a full-on reality show."

Griffin said a scripted series would be a natural progression for her brand and humor.

The past few seasons of 'D-List' have focused on the diva's misadventures with celebrities, with the situations seeming less organic and more staged. Bravo has yet to make a decision on the future of the series.

In other TV news ...

The striking 'Biggest Loser' crew got a bit of a boost from the talent. Trainers Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper along with host Alison Sweeney have not crossed the picket line even though they have no-strike clauses in their contracts. [Deadline Hollywood]

Ready for more 'Luther'? BBC is at work on two more two-hour TV movies about the character. No word on whether the new movies will air on BBC America. [Variety]

Kevin Eubanks is returning to 'The Tonight Show.' Eubanks will appear on the Nov. 23 episode to promote his new CD, 'Zen Food.' [NBC]

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Chris Rock Teases Leno About Conan, Kevin Eubanks (VIDEO)

by Aimee Deeken, posted Jun 9th 2010 6:30AM
Chris Rock Teases Leno on Conan, Kevin EubanksChris Rock was quick to observe that on his last visit to 'The Tonight Show' (weeknights, 11:35PM ET on NBC), Conan O'Brien was host. And, wait, where's Kevin Eubanks? So Chris teased Jay Leno pretty mercilessly about the new staff.

"Did the redhead guy take Kevin?" asked Chris. "You done fired Kevin and got a cheaper brother to take his place! [Rickey Minor] costs a little less than Kevin."

"No, actually..." said Jay, who kept smiling but seemed visibly ruffled until he was able to change the subject.

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Rickey Minor Debuts as Leader of 'Tonight Show' Band (VIDEO)

by Aimee Deeken, posted Jun 8th 2010 7:15AM
Rickey Minor Debuts as Tonight Show Band LeaderRickey Minor got a warm welcome on 'The Tonight Show' (weeknights, 11:35PM ET on NBC) when he debuted as the new leader of The Tonight Show Band.

"Welcome aboard! We're gonna have fun," Jay Leno told the former 'American Idol' music director, who replaces Kevin Eubanks.

Minor said there were "a couple of hiccups" on his first day, but you'd never know it from the new theme song. Leno applauded Minor on the new gig -- and for having a hot wife, whom the host had just met backstage.

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Kevin Eubanks Dishes on 'Tonight Show' Memories, Ricky Minor

by Steve Baltin, posted Jun 2nd 2010 3:40PM
Kevin EubanksFor the past 18 years when 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' has started, Kevin Eubanks has been there to lead the band. However, June 1, Rickey Minor, best known as the musical director for 'American Idol,' takes over that gig as Eubanks moves on to other adventures.

Eubanks, for one, believes Jay Leno's band is in very good hands.

"I think he can deal with it," Eubanks told TV Squad, "I've known Ricky for a while, so I just kind of thought he'd be real smooth at stepping in. I think I'm right, I think he'll be alright."

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Sherri Shepherd Gets Touchy-Feely With Kevin Eubanks (VIDEO)

by Donald Deane, posted Jun 1st 2010 2:30PM
Kevin Eubanks, Jay Leno's former band leader, addressed Leno's ill-fated move to the 10PM slot, and got pawed at by grabby hands Sherri Shepherd on 'The View' (weekdays, syndicated).

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Rickey Minor to Replace Kevin Eubanks

by Andrew Scott, posted Apr 13th 2010 11:11PM
Rickey MinorNBC has tapped 'American Idol' music director Rickey Minor to replace 'Tonight Show' bandleader Kevin Eubanks, effective Mon., Jun. 7.

The news comes just one day after Eubanks confirmed that he will be leaving the 'Tonight Show' on May 28, ending a nearly 20-year history with the show.

"After 18 years, I just need a change of pace and see what else is going on," he told Leno during last night's 'Tonight Show' taping. "But it's a really difficult decision because this has become my second home."

Minor -- who will leave 'Idol' in May after three years with the show -- has served as musical director of a number of high-profile television events, including the Super Bowl, Grammy Awards and NAACP Image Awards. He's also worked musical artists ranging from Ray Charles to Beyonce.

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Kevin Eubanks Sets Final 'Tonight Show' for May 28

by AOL TV Staff, posted Apr 13th 2010 8:41AM
Kevin EubanksAfter months of speculation Kevin Eubanks is officially leaving the 'Tonight Show,' according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The longtime bandleader made the announcement during last night's episode, telling host Jay Leno, "After 18 years, I just need a change of pace and see what else is going on. But it's a really difficult decision because this has become my second home."

Eubanks -- who has been with Jay Leno since 1992 -- will wrap up his late-night tenure on May 28, with a replacement yet to be determined. (See our picks for who should replace Kevin Eubanks here.)

For more on this story, visit PopEater.

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Does Max Weinberg Want to Leave Conan for Jay?

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 7th 2010 7:27PM
Max Weinberg is on Team Conan... for now.Let's hear it for high profile defections. According to Movieline, rumor has it that longtime Conan O'Brien bandleader Max Weinberg is seeking the coveted position of bandleader for 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno', a role that is soon to be abandoned by Kevin Eubanks.

While it's somewhat understandable that Weinberg would want the position, it is a bit of a slap to Conan. On the other hand, it's all about what's best for Max Weinberg and while things with Conan are currently up in the air, 'The Tonight Show' is a pretty solid position to be in. Like it or not, there are still a lot of viewers on Team Jay and he continues to pull in ratings despite his brief absence from the 11:30 spot.

At least Weinberg would also now have a lot to talk about with Stuttering John Melendez, who defected to Jay from 'The Howard Stern Show' ages ago.

[via TVWeek]

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How Was Jay Leno's First Episode Back At 'The Tonight Show?'

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 2nd 2010 11:02AM
Tonight ShowIt's like he never left, isn't it?

Jay Leno returned to 'The Tonight Show' last night, and he pretty much settled back into the groove right away. Of course, there really wasn't much groove to "settle back into" since the 10PM 'Jay Leno Show' was 'Tonight 2.0,' a carbon copy of the 11:35 show with just a time change (oh, and no desk).

He still did his long monologue, he still bantered with Kevin, he still interviewed guests. It's not like he was going to drastically change anything. Jay was Jay and he did was he always does.

What didn't he do? Well, he didn't acknowledge Conan O'Brien at all. I guess that's no surprise since he didn't acknowledge Johnny Carson on his first show back in 1992. But you would think that he would have said something about Conan since it was the major TV story for the past few months, but he didn't. As the opening 'Wizard of Oz' takeoff showed, they really do want to make believe all of this was a dream. Good to see Betty White make a cameo though.

So let's get to the nitty gritty:

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Who Should Replace Kevin Eubanks On 'The Tonight Show'? Our 8 Choices

by Steve Baltin, posted Feb 17th 2010 1:30PM
Kevin EubanksJay Leno may have got his coveted 11:35PM 'Tonight Show' time slot back, but he'll be looking for a new band leader shortly after he goes back to late night on March 1. Kevin Eubanks, the jazz guitarist who's been with Leno since 1992 and took over over for Branford Marsalis as band leader in 1995, is expected to leave the show sometime in March to resume his recording and touring career.

Since Leno and Eubanks teamed up in 1992, the ante has been upped tremendously for late-night musicians, with Conan O'Brien first bringing in E Street Band drummer Max Weinberg to head his band. And then Jimmy Fallon found the best part of his show, convincing revered hip-hop group the Roots to be the house group.

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Not Sure Why This Is News: Melendez Won't Be 'Tonight' Announcer

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 17th 2010 11:29AM
John MelendezWell, it seems like there's a lot of changes coming to 'The Tonight Show' when Jay Leno returns after the Olympics. Yesterday Kona told you that bandleader Kevin Eubanks would be leaving the show once they find a replacement, and now we hear from Variety that announcer John Melendez won't be back.

But I'm not sure why this is news. Unlike Eubanks, Melendez wasn't the announcer of the 10PM show -- he was retained as a writer for the show -- so I didn't really automatically expect Melendez to be back when Leno returns to 11:35. Of course, a lot of TV fans didn't think about it one way or another, but it's certainly not surprising news. Melendez will stay on as a writer.

Honestly, Melendez shouldn't have been Leno's announcer in the first place (well, in the "first place" he wasn't - Edd Hall was). He's a bland announcer, and it seemed that Leno (or whoever at the show) hired him because of some perceived hip factor because he was on Howard Stern's show for years.

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Kevin Eubanks Quitting 'The Tonight Show'?

by Kona Gallagher, posted Feb 16th 2010 6:02PM
kevin eubanksMaybe he's on Team CoCo? Sources have told Extra that Kevin Eubanks, who has been Jay Leno's band leader since 1994, is quitting. Eubanks joined the 'Tonight Show' band in 1992, after releasing several albums. He followed Leno over to his primetime experiment, 'The Jay Leno Show,' but sources say that Eubanks is "ready for a change" and won't be returning to 'The Tonight Show' with Leno.

This news hasn't been confirmed -- in fact, NBC denied it to one of our fellow AOL writers -- so we have no further insight into Eubanks' alleged decision. TV Guide Canada is speculating that the recent Late Night Wars and the resulting instability has something to do with Eubanks leaving, which is understandable. Even though the folks who work for Leno made out better than those who worked for Conan, the constant moving around and uncertainty can't make for a pleasant working environment.

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Is Kevin Eubanks Leaving 'Tonight Show'?

by Allyssa Lee, posted Feb 16th 2010 5:00PM
Sorry, Darius Rucker: The reports stating that Kevin Eubanks would not be returning to 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' just aren't true -- at least for the next couple of months.

The infotainment show 'Extra' reported earlier today that Leno's longtime bandleader was leaving the show because he "wanted a change" and was hoping to pursue other opportunities.

And while the network confirmed to AOL TV that "Kevin has expressed interest in pursuing personal touring and recording opportunities," he "will be with the show when it returns" on March 1.

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Kate Gosselin Q&A on 'The Jay Leno Show' (VIDEO)

by Donald Deane, posted Dec 21st 2009 2:26PM
Kate Gosselin dished on her first act as a newly-divorced woman, her current favorite song and the slang term for foreplay with band leader Kevin Eubanks during Jay Leno's "10 @ 10" segment on 'The Jay Leno Show.'

Now that her divorce from husband Jon is final, Gosselin said her first planned activity as a single mother will be "baking cookies with the kids."

Watch the video after the jump.

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Our Favorite TV Sidekicks: They're the True Stars of the Talk Shows

by Liane Bonin, posted Nov 18th 2009 4:14PM
On June 23, 2009, the trademark laugh of the greatest sidekick of all time was silenced as Ed McMahon floated up to the great sidekick couch on the sky. While Publisher's Clearing House commercials and 'Star Search' reruns will never be the same, the good news is that McMahon, who rose up in the wake of some pretty stellar sidekicks himself, set the bar high for those to follow.

Perhaps he set it too high, though, as newcomers to the talk show field like Jimmy Fallon and Craig Ferguson have chosen to fly solo on their talk shows. And that's a shame. Like wine in a box and BBC America series, these straight men of the chat circuit are all too often underappreciated and overshadowed but consistently, inconspicuously deliver the goods.

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