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October 13, 2015


Conan and Fox Still Talking with 'Idol Gives Back' in the Mix

by Brad Trechak, posted Mar 22nd 2010 9:02AM
Conan O'BrienThe jury is still out as to whether Conan O'Brien will be starting a new late night talk show on Fox. Talks are still progressing on that front. However, in an interesting wrinkle, the producers of one of Fox's biggest shows, 'Americal Idol,' have approached Conan to appear on their charity special 'Idol Gives Back.'

Unfortunately, Conan had to decline the appearance because it would still be in breach of contract (he is prohibited from appearing on television until September). You'd think NBC would be willing to allow for a one-time waiver for charity, but at the same time it's unlikely they would allow for such a ratings bonanza on a rival network.

For now, Conan still has his 'Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on TV' tour. It is interesting to note that the day of May 17th was left free on the tour, which is the same day as the Fox upfronts in New York City. Coincidence?

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Jay Leno's 'Tonight Show' Return Is a Ratings Winner

by Gary Susman, posted Mar 2nd 2010 2:30PM
Jay LenoMeet the new boss, same as the old boss.

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.

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Letterman Unveils the New Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover Model

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 9th 2010 7:52PM
Are you the kind of guy who waits with nervous anticipation to find out who's on the cover of the new Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue? Do you find who can't focus until you know who's covered boobs are gracing the cover? If so, please seek professional help immediately.

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.

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The Late Night Wars: Winners and Losers

by Gary Susman, posted Jan 22nd 2010 9:00AM
Now that the battle over 'The Tonight Show' is officially over, with Jay Leno taking back his old job and Conan O'Brien all but out the door with an eight-figure severance check, it's time to sift through the rubble to see who's come out on top. Surprisingly, the debacle has turned out to be a win for almost everyone involved, with three glaring exceptions.

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Some 'uh-ohs' bubble up behind the scenes of The Jay Leno Show

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jun 2nd 2009 2:38PM
Jay LenoYou gotta love the ol' rumor mill. It sleeps less than Amy Winehouse.

Conan O'Brien hasn't even finished his first week as the new host of The Tonight Show and the insiders are already churning out rumblings about Jay Leno's new show.

Some sources close to the network and The Jay Leno Show told Kim Masters of The Daily Beast that Leno is slowly growing unhappy with his new time slot and the changes that are being made to the new show by the network. There are even concerns that the stress of the situation is starting to take a toll on the host's health.

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Jimmy Fallon gears up for late night gig

by Danny Gallagher, posted Dec 6th 2008 9:29AM
Jimmy FallonNext year marks a changing of the guard for Conan O'Brien from Late Night to The Tonight Show. It'll be an easy transition for the fair-skinned one since he's already got a recipe for success: a die-hard audience, smart and inventive writers and puppets that curse.

The real challenge will be for Jimmy Fallon, Conan's Late Night successor, who hasn't had much TV time since he left Saturday Night Live for a movie career that made Chevy Chase's lineup look Lawrence Olivier-ian.

Variety reports that Fallon will first test the airwaves' waters instead of doing a full-blown cannonball by starring in some "webisodes" on NBC.com starting Monday.

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Will ESPN enter the late night talk show game?

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 27th 2008 8:23AM
ESPN redThis is an interesting notion -- ESPN is looking to launch a late night TV show. The sports network has reportedly approached three prominent sports journalists to anchor the show, but not one of them has shown any interest. The names are Dan LeBatard, Miami Herald columnist and local sports radio host; Colin Cowherd, ESPN national radio voice; and Jason Whitlock, Kansas City Star sports writer.

While I believe that ESPN has real interest in a late night sports show -- maybe a talk format about sports and entertainment -- I have real questions about the validity of the names floated in this report, especially with regard to Whitlock.

Jason was once a regular fill-in on Pardon The Interruption. He is very smart and funny and opinionated. Apparently he was too opinionated for some at the Disney-owned network. When he refused to pull his punches in his criticism, he was dropped by ESPN. Are we to think that now ESPN has asked him to not only come back, but possibly host a show for them?

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Tommy Newsom dead at 78

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 30th 2007 5:42PM

Tommy Newsom albumTommy Newsom, best known for being the bandleader on The Tonight Show when Doc Severinsen had the night off, died this weekend of cancer at his home in Virginia.

Newsom was also a saxophone player and joined the show in 1962, when Johnny Carson took over from Jack Parr. When Carson retired in 1992, so did Newsom. Newsom was a very dry, laid back guy, and Carson jokingly called him "Mr. Excitement."

Besides his work on The Tonight Show, Newsom also composed music for Kenny Rogers, John Denver, and Skitch Henderson, the first Tonight Show bandleader, who died in 2005.

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Talk Talk: Tina Fey, Randy Newman, Lewis Black, Gomez, Fergie

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 9th 2006 5:35PM
  • Charlie RoseCharlie Rose: an appreciation of R.W. Apple, Jr.
  • The Daily Show: James Baker
  • The Colbert Report: Randy Newman
  • The Late Show With David Letterman: Robin Williams and Sam Moore
  • Jay Leno: Tina Fey, Fergie, and Annika Sorenstam
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live: Dane Cook, Emilie de Rave, and The Killers (repeat...wait a second, this is from FIVE DAYS AGO. That's ridiculous.)
  • Tavis Smiley: Chandra Wilson
  • Late Night With Conan O'Brien: John Lithgow, Lewis Black, and Gomez
  • The Late, Late Show With Craig Ferguson: Emmitt Smith and Kristin Chenoweth
  • Last Call With Carson Daly: Leelee Sobieski and Kill Hannah (repeat)

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Charlie Rose returns on Monday

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 8th 2006 3:04PM
Charlie RoseFor those of you who have missed Rose, he returns to the table on his PBS late night talk show this Monday. Rose has been gone from the show after having emergency heart valve surgery overseas in March. It was his second valve surgery, and he was in the hospital for a month.

It was interesting to see various fill-in hosts over the past few months. Some did really well, while others were noticably uncomfortable in the host chair (*cough* Peter Travers *cough*).

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Talk Talk: Hugh Jackman, Denis Leary, Bo Bice, Zooey Deschanel, John Lasseter

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 2nd 2006 5:00PM
  • Vince VaughnCharlie Rose: Vince Vaughn and director John Lasseter
  • The Late Show With David Letterman: Tom Hanks and Kanye West (repeat)
  • Jay Leno: Hugh Jackman and Imogean Heap (repeat)
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live: Katherine Heigl, Ben Lee, James Pickens, Jr, and Chandra Wilson (repeat)
  • Late Night With Conan O'Brien: Charlize Theron and Cameron Crowe (repeat)
  • The Late, Late Show With Craig Ferguson: Denis Leary and Bo Bice (repeat)
  • Last Call With Carson Daly: Zooey Deschanel, Samaire Armstrong, Jack's Mannequin, and Eco Station Animals (repeat)

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Talk Talk: Tom Cruise, Robin Williams, Willie Nelson, Andy Milonakis, Nada Surf

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 1st 2006 5:01PM
  • Jamie OliverCharlie Rose: Robert Baer, with guest host Brian Ross, and Fay Vincent, with guest host Frank Deford
  • The Daily Show: Willie Nelson (repeat)
  • The Colbert Report: Ted Daeschler (repeat)
  • The Late Show With David Letterman: Tom Cruise and Jamie Oliver (repeat)
  • Jay Leno: Robin Williams, Daniel Powter, and Keke Palmer (repeat)
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live: Julia Stiles, Jason Ritter, and Atreyu (repeat)
  • Late Night With Conan O'Brien: Naomi Watts, Kate Walsh, and The Magic Numbers (repeat)
  • The Late, Late Show With Craig Ferguson: Mia Maestro and Nick Lachey (repeat)
  • Last Call With Carson Daly: Andy Milonakis and Nada Surf (repeat)

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