If you've been living under a rock, you might not realize that Jay Leno will be hosting his show every night during the 10 PM hour while Conan O'Brien hosts The Tonight Show at 11:30. I don't like this, not at all.
So I have to get a contingency plan in place. I've been trying to think of what I'll do for my TV fix at that hour.
Kiley has done the Letterman three times before, he notes as an emergency replacement for another act that dropped out. And while he says he would never have gone on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, since that show is in the same time slot as Late Night, O'Brien and Letterman have always had a cordial relationship, and no one ever said anything before. That might change now.
"I kind of viewed it as, well, maybe this is my last time on Dave because the Conan people might not be into it," says Kiley. "So I don't know."
Late Night would have a totally different tone without elements like Pender's over-energetic, passionate solos and LaBamba's extra-endearing presence. Well, not to worry, people who worry about the same pointless things I do! It looks like Max and the gang are joining Conan in LA.
NBC's Tonight Show chair might have been the throne of late night royalty, but it's not an aristocracy. That assumption caused the infamous late night fiasco when Johnny Carson retired and pushed David Letterman to CBS. It's that same assumption that has everyone's jaws dropping out of their ligaments.
But just like the Super Bowl, little league baseball, or a hottest-wet-buns-in-jeans contest -- there must be winners and losers. Here are the people who should and shouldn't be loving Leno right now.
I have mixed feelings about it. One one hand, if anybody has the fame to make the 10 PM slot mean something, it's Jay. On the other hand, why stay at the network that gave away his show to someone else? The person that would benefit most from this is Jimmy Kimmel whose position in late night is no longer threatened.
It's a shame. I was hoping he'd use his free time to film a sequel to Collision Course. Yeah, Pat Morita is dead. So what?
Of course it's being assumed that Leno's move to 10 PM would be for a talk show. It could be something else entirely. A variety hour? A news program? A drama about a cop Okay, it's going to be a talk show. The big question, though: What shows do you think are going to be sacrificed to make room for Jay? Let me know in the comments.
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.
The first wave of shock hit when it was announced that Conan O'Brien would be switching coasts to take Jay Leno's seat. I didn't mind that so much, as I've never been a fan of Leno and am rather glad to see him go. The second bit of news about Jimmy Fallon taking O'Brien's spot consisted of more mixed feelings. I was a big fan of Fallon back in the day, but I was, like, a teenager then.
Times have changed, I've grown up, Fallon's made a lot of crappy movies, and guys playing with their hair when they're nervous isn't so endearing anymore. That last one was a lie, but regardless, I'm unsure of how to feel about Fallon's new job. Now here comes the news that The Roots will be Fallon's band on the show. Now, I must borrow from ?uestlove's name for my "What??!"
Fallon says Purcell was hired because of the pop culture sensibility of Attack of the Show, which he also wants in his own late night program.
I like Attack of the Show and have ambivalent feelings regarding Fallon on late night. He never seemed particularly impressive on Saturday Night Live, but perhaps he didn't get a chance to shine that he otherwise would with a solo gig (similar to certain other SNL alumni like Chris Rock). Hopefully, adding Purcell to his team will give his late night show a unique flavor that will distinguish it from others or his predecessor.
Some of our TV Squad team have appeared on Attack of the Show during Purcell's tenure. I wonder if now they'll be asking us to appear on Jimmy Fallon's show? It would be nice. I'm ready for ya, Jimmy.
Out of the celebrities mentioned, I'm most interested to see Eminem. I haven't seen the Real Slim Shady on TV in awhile. He's always a good interview though -- all that contrived hostility and testosterone in overdrive. Who are you looking forward to seeing? Or is Kimmel's fabulousness enough to get you to tune in?
The schedule is after the jump.
NBC has declared that it supports Conan O'Brien completely and is unconcerned about the gradual shift in the numbers that have been going on for a while. It's in NBC's interest that Conan remain a strong player, especially since he will be taking over the Tonight show in the near future -- once Jay Leno's contract comes to an end in 2009. While tipping its cap to Ferguson for the ratings victory, NBC also noted that in the 18-49 demographic, Conan is still the leader in that time slot.
As the strike lingers on and the Writers Guild of American (WGA) and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) seem no closer to bridging their philosophical and monetary gap, the WGA is set to try a new tactic. According to Variety, the WGA is going to make a "legal demand" today for individual members of the AMPTP to schedule bargaining meetings with the WGA. However, at this point it isn't clear if the companies are legally obligated to do so, and if not, will they?
Looks like the late-night talk shows may be coming back sooner rather than later, and this regardless of what happens with the strike. Variety admits that nothing official has been said and no one will comment one way or another, but insiders are saying the time may be nearing. Carson returned after two months of the '88 writers strike. With ratings taking a nosedive, January 7 has been pegged as a possible return date for the NBC hosts (Leno and O'Brien), with the others starting the same time or soon thereafter.
They initially shut down production in deference to their writers and stayed dark to help the writers maintain some leverage in negotiations, even going so far as to pay non-writing staffers out of their own pockets. But, when reruns of Spike TVs MANswers are beating your reruns, and your ratings are half what they were (as is the case with the NBC pair), it's time to rethink everything.
As of next week, The New York Times reports that NBC executives will have to start laying off the non-writing staff on Late Night With Conan O'Brien. The studio had been paying their salaries thus far through the strike. As such, Conan has stepped up and agreed to start paying his non-striking staff their full wages on Monday from his own pocket, if necessary. Word of this leaked to the press, with no official comments being offered by any side.
This is a very different response to the ongoing labor stoppage than Ellen DeGeneres and Carson Daly, who have both resumed production on their respective shows. With ratings down significantly in late night, studios are under increasing pressure to bring these shows back on the air, so I'm guessing there's increasing pressure on these guys to come back in. O'Brien instead is showing his support for the strike as well as his staff by putting his money where his mouth is.
Included in the vintage rerun plans are a 1992 Tom Hanks appearance, Julia Roberts from 1993, 1995 appearances with Johnny Depp and Jennifer Aniston, and a Matt Damon 2000 appearance. As the strike continues, the late night talk shows are running out of more current reruns according to an article in The Hollywood Reporter. I would think they're also a bit concerned with losing the audience and older shows at this time would almost be "new."
The fact that I'm about to become the father of my own little geek-spawn has led me to start looking around the current TV landscape, looking for appropriate geek role models. I was surprised to find so many...