David Letterman started off his 'Late Show' (weeknights, 11:35PM ET on CBS) interview with Herman Cain by making fun of himself. "I'm no stranger to sexual scandal," he said, which drew a big chuckle from Cain. But then Letterman got serious about the sexual harassment allegations that have been leveled against Cain by several women, asking him if he would drop out of the race if they were proven true.
"One of two things will happen ... you'll be exonerated just like Justin Bieber ... or they will prevail and there will be somebody else coming forward" with documentation and more evidence. "Now will you resign if that's the case?" he asked.
Cain continued to deny that he had done anything wrong. "Let's be very clear about the allegations that have already been made. The reason that I went front and center in front of the media is that I knew there wasn't anything to it. There's no further documentation has come up. So we have moved on."
Then Letterman got even more incredulous. "So these statement are all false. All of these women are lying. They're all lying. They are all lying," he repeated.
Watch the video after the jump.
But so far, there's no deal, no dollar figures being discussed, and in fact, no talks at all between Fox and Team Coco over the past two weeks, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Still, according to the Reporter and the Los Angeles Times, the two sides have agreed on a basic framework for a deal. Now all they have to do is figure out the money and how to get all of Fox's local stations to agree to bump their current late-night programming to make way for the former 'Tonight Show' host. "We'll get there," a source close to O'Brien told the Times on Tuesday.
First of all, don't expect the road show to be a carbon copy of the 'Tonight Show' or of 'Late Night'. "[On] TV, things can be very small," said Kiley. "This stage show is going to have to be big. So I don't think he's going to come out and do a long monologue about current events, for example. I think it's going to be a romp. I think it'll be kind of fun, wacky things. Things we can't do on TV. It should be a very loose, fun show."
To no one's surprise, Jay Leno's much-heralded return to 'The Tonight Show' on Monday was a ratings success, at least according to early overnight numbers. According to the Hollywood Reporter, advance numbers show Leno winning his timeslot with a 5.4 rating in metered market households and a rating of 2.0 among adults 18-49. That easily beat the 3.0 household rating for 'The Late Show With David Letterman' on CBS and the ABC ratings (cited by Entertainment Weekly) of 3.4 for 'Nightline' and 1.8 for 'Jimmy Kimmel Live.'
Leno's return had coattails too. Following 'Tonight,' NBC's 'Late Night With Jimmy Fallon' posted a 2.1 rating, twice its fourth-quarter 2009 average and enough to beat usual timeslot victor 'The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson' by 40 percent.
Also, enjoy this unveiling of the new cover on last night's 'Late Show with David Letterman.' WARNING: don't remove your pants until the very end of the video.
Goodwin has been involved with the show since 2001. She got the job the old fashioned way, by rising through the ranks. More power to her. It makes a person wonder when one of the networks will take a chance a have a female-hosted late night talk show. Females seem to dominate the daytime shows (see Oprah), but not at night. The last that I can recall was Joan Rivers way back when.
Given the recent allegations against Dave with regards to his recently admitted affair, it does raise eyebrows with regards to the timing. On the other hand, it's not like she was hired the next day and a lot has happened on late night television since then.
Why? Well, some news from our friends at TMZ is a good place to start:
1. Conan is paying his crew himself. TMZ reported yesterday that some of the old 'Tonight Show' crew -- namely, the stage hands -- are being paid severance directly by Conan because they weren't among the staff being paid under Conan's separation agreement with NBC. According to the report, he's paying 50 staffers six weeks' worth of severance. Now, that's not going to help those staffers pay the bills until Conan comes back in September, but it's better than getting what NBC was offering, which was zero. The word mensch comes to mind when I read this story.
Gibson unveiled his portrayal of the ABC late night host in a new film coming soon to a theater near you. I'm hoping that Gary Sinise will be cast as Kimmel's wide eyebrowed sidekick, Adam Carolla.
Variety reports that NBC has set an end date for 'The Jay Leno Show,' Leno's unsuccessful prime-time variety hour, which will bid aideu Feb. 9 at 10PM. For the remainder of the week, the network will fill its 10PM timeslot with reruns of 'Law & Order: SVU' and 'The Office,' before the Winter Olympics kick off Fri., Feb .11.
Among Leno's final guests will be Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts, who will appear during Leno's '10@10' segment (more on that here).
Actually, it probably failed because of a Jeff Zucker curse. But still, what of poor Andy? He seems to have been operating under a perpetual cloud ever since he left Conan's side the first time, when he quit his job as sidekick on 'Late Night With Conan O'Brien' in 2000 for a Hollywood career. He's worked consistently since then, but his list of credits over the last decade consists largely of box office flops and short-lived TV series. To which we can now add 'The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien.'
What if NBC had done something truly groundbreaking and given 'The Tonight Show' to a woman -- perhaps turning the proud Peacock logo into a female Peahen (as seen to the right)? Would the Great Late Night War of 2010 even happened?
The late-night field has been a notorious boys' club for decades (a situation underlined in recent months by the David Letterman scandal and the battle between Leno and Conan O'Brien over 'Tonight'). Now that women late-night hosts such as Wanda Sykes, Chelsea Handler and Mo'Nique are flourishing off the network weeknight grid, doesn't it seem like NBC could have avoided its current late-night disaster if it had decided, back in the day, to groom a woman for the job?
There's a simple solution to your late-night dilemma, though you're not going to like it: Let Jay Leno go.
He's given you decades of yeoman service, including 14 years of top ratings on 'The Tonight Show.' But his time has passed. It's time to thank him for his invaluable contribution to the network, hand him a gold watch and let him spend the rest of his days puttering in his garage or doing stand-up in Vegas.
Well, now Conan O'Brien has reportedly been given an option to jump to Fox. If you believe TMZ.com, NBC has told Conan he has the option of leaving and joining another network. The Peacock, if you believe it, has dropped the contractual ties that would restrict O'Brien from going to the competition. Hmm... why would they do that unless they don't like what Conan's done with The Tonight Show and want to expedite his exit?
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