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September 1, 2014

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'The Late Shift' Prequel in the Works

by Brad Trechak, posted May 1st 2010 4:47PM
Johnny CarsonWe probably won't be seeing any television movies soon that will serve as the sequel to 'The Late Shift,' telling of the difficulties between NBC, Conan O'Brien and Jay Leno. However, a prequel mini-series is in the planning stages about the rise of 'The Tonight Show' and Johnny Carson called 'The King of Late Night.'

The mini-series will actually be about the rise of the first three hosts of 'The Tonight Show': Steve Allen, Jack Paar and of course Johnny. It will focus on NBC's history of screwing them over (except for Carson, who managed to beat them at their own game). If done with tremendous historical detail to the level of 'Mad Men,' it could be very good.

That's likely the direction they're going in since the project has been described as "The Rat Pack version of 'The Late Shift.'" A&E would actually be a good channel to host this concept, but more likely it will go to one of the premium channels like HBO.

So who should play Johnny? Please don't say Rich Little. It's been done.

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Oprah's exit is like Johnny Carson leaving The Tonight Show

by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 21st 2009 11:02AM
oprah_winfrey_head_shotAfter watching The Oprah Winfrey Show today and hearing her teary announcement about her decision to end her syndicated talk show, I had one thought in my head. Oprah Winfrey is doing a Johnny Carson. She's writing her own script (no pun intended). Oprah is leaving while she's still wanted, while she's still strong, and by setting the date 18 months down the road, she's giving herself a victory tour.

This is very much like Johnny Carson's decision to leave The Tonight Show. The difference, of course, is that Oprah's show is not an established landmark entity like The Tonight Show, which had Steve Allen and Jack Paar as hosts before Carson. No, Oprah was/is The Oprah Winfrey Show. She will not leave it behind for someone else to inherit the throne. She's taking the throne with her.

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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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Greatest 'Tonight Show' Moments

by AOL TV Staff, posted May 13th 2009 6:00AM
Hugh Grant The Tonight Show'The Tonight Show' has been a late-night institution for more than 50 years (yes, that's right -- half a century).

Jack Paar, who took over the reins from Steve Allen in '57, put the show on the map, with big-name guests and outspoken antics. Johnny Carson, who stepped in when Paar left, made the show appointment viewing for millions of fans and became one of the most beloved TV hosts of all time.

Now, with Jay Leno's last 'Tonight Show' airing Fri., May 29, and Conan O'Brien taking the desk while Leno makes the unprecedented move to prime time, to a 10 PM slot in the fall, we look back and count down the top 20 moments of 'The Tonight Show.'


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Pioneers of Television - DVD review

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 29th 2008 8:06AM
Pioneers of TelevisionPioneers of Television (in stores today) is a pretty big title for a documentary series, especially one that lasts only four episodes. You wonder, what are they going to mention and what are they going to leave out? This PBS show isn't the most comprehensive look I've seen on each of its subjects, but for one miniseries in one package, it's actually well put together, and you're going to see some TV footage, photos, and interviews I bet you've never seen before.

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Jay Leno celebrates 15 lame years

by Bob Sassone, posted May 28th 2007 1:28PM

LenoJay Leno is currently celebrating his 15th anniversary on that late night talk show that I refuse to name because I hate associating the show that Steve Allen, Jack Paar, and Johnny Carson once hosted with Leno. I won't go into all the reasons why (I've talked about it before), but let's just say the guy is incredibly lame and unfunny.

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