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September 23, 2014

WandaSykesShow

In the Late Night Wars, Where Are the Women?

by Gary Susman, posted Jan 21st 2010 2:00PM
PeahenIn 2004, NBC took a look at the aging Jay Leno and decided that late night's future was... another middle-aged white guy from Boston.

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?

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