It's the high school prom all over again.
The New York Times reports that ABC is considering switching Jimmy Kimmel Live with Nightline's time slot sometime before or after Conan O'Brien makes his move from Late Night to The Tonight Show. That means Kimmel would no longer be messing with the natural order of late night television. He would be a direct competitor to Conan's new show when it hits the air later this year.
The long-running news show will probably be dumped and its employees out of jobs if ABC pays Leno a bunch of money to come over to the network to host a show at 11:35pm and go up against David Letterman. Even though Nightline's ratings are good (they often beat Letterman) and it's makes money, they'll make more with Leno.
"I have wanted to work with Lisa for a long time," said James Goldston, ABC News and Nightlines' executive producer. "She is a terrific journalist with a very distinctive style that fits really well with the Nightline sensibility."
Lisa will continue with her Oprah appearances. She will also host National Geographic Ultimate Explorer.
Lisa's initial report for Nightline debuts tonight. It's a look at the growth of luxury retirement communities. If you're thinking Del Boca Vista, the Seinfeld show condominium where Jerry's parents lived, so did I.
You know how people say stuff like "if CBS cancels Moonlight, I'm never watching that stupid network again!"? I think those proclamations are usually silly, but I might be in that group if the following happens: CBS replacing David Letterman with Jay Leno.
That's one of the options listed in this handy Hollywood Reporter guide to what Leno will do after his stint on NBC is over in 2009. The other options are going to ABC at 11:35, going to FOX at 11:35, a syndicated show with Sony, he stays at NBC and does some other primetime show, he takes over for Larry King on CNN, or he goes back to doing standup full-time. Taking over for Letterman would happen if (and when - he could extend his contract) Letterman retires in 2010.
According to Reuters, Affleck has made three trips out to the Congo, and he contacted ABC News to see if they wanted to send a camera crew along with him. He also wrote an essay about his trips for the late-night news program's website. It's a refreshing view from Ben, whose trips to the war-torn country have mostly been under wraps.
"I view this as a long and ongoing learning experience to educate myself before making any attempt to advocate or 'speak out,'" Affleck writes. He also says that "it makes sense to be skeptical about celebrity activism. There is always the suspicion that involvement with a cause may be doing more good for the spokesman than he or she is doing for the cause."
Have you noticed that Jimmy Kimmel Live has slowly but surely become a big force at ABC? It doesn't do Jay Leno numbers, but the ratings have increased in the past few months, the network has given him prime real estate on prime time during the NBA Finals, and there just seems to be a buzz about the show. ABC must have noticed too because they've extended Kimmel's contract through the 2010 season.
This is good news for Kimmel fans, as there has been much talk about what would happen to Kimmel if ABC were to grab Leno after Leno exits his show on NBC and Conan O'Brien takes over. Would Kimmel be pushed to 12:35 if Leno comes aboard, or even later if ABC also decided to keep Nightline? Of course, there's no word on whether or not this new contract guarantees Kimmel the 12:05am slot. Leno leaves his show in 2009.
I hope Kimmel stays around for a long time. I can't get into his musical guests, but he has the best monlogue on late night, in my opinion.
It's tough to believe that David Letterman has fallen from grace so far and is now largely irrelevant. Given the gap, perhaps NBC should look into keeping Leno for a little bit longer rather than have him leave in 2009, particularly considering that even Craig Ferguson is beating Conan O'Brien in the ratings.
I remember when Letterman was a shot of adrenaline to the late night wars. What has Letterman done (or not done) to place him in the number three position? If CBS decided to replace Letterman, who would be the logical choice for the timeslot?
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 predicted in my preview story about today's sessions, Shonda Rhimes (Grey's Anatomy; Private Practice) was indeed asked about ex-GA cast member Isaiah Washington, who was canned last month by ABC and then scooped up by rival NBC for a role on Bionic Woman.
A reporter wanted to know what Rhimes thought about NBC president Ben Silverman saying he was in talks with Washington prior to the actor being let go at the end of the TV season.
Shonda Rhimes is coming to the Beverly Hilton today with Kate Walsh, Tim Daly and other cast members of Private Practice to tout the Grey's Anatomy spin-off. But you just know that Rhimes will be asked about the controversial exit of Isaiah Washington from GA at the end of the season.
Where's Dr. Bailey when you need her?
- Just in time for Mother's Day, Buzz Sugar lists some memorable TV mothers and daughters.
- Bobby Brown is suing Whitney Houston.
- Growing Pains star Kirk Cameron goes on Nightline to prove that God exists.
- Maxim picks the worst TV series endings of all-time.
- Don Imus might want $200 million from CBS.
- CNN International says that Bush resigned. Ooops!
- Megan over at TVGuide.com really likes Criss Angel (and he has a new book out too).
The New York Observer is reporting that ABC has filmed two secret pilots for a new hour-long version of Nightline. The shows were filmed on Feb. 9, but ABC and Disney haven't decided to go through with the new version of the show or not.
Of course, if this new hour-long show were to happen, that means it would air from 11:35PM to 12:35AM. Jimmy Kimmel Live starts every night at 12:05AM, so (one assumes) Kimmel's show would be pushed back to the 12:35 slot, starting at the same time as Late Night With Conan O'Brien and The Late, Late Show With Craig Ferguson. But the article also states that execs have said that Kimmel's show is losing "buckets of money." So could Kimmel be pushed out of the network completely?
If Kimmel stays and goes to 12:35, I probably won't watch the show anymore. As it is I usually only watch the monologue (he has one of the best in late night, in my opinion), but the rest of the show falls a little flat to me. Plus I'm getting old and can't stay up really late like I used to.
The analyst, David Miller from the Sanders Morris Harris Group, writes in a report that ABC would put Leno at 11:30, cancelling Nightline in the process. They will then push Jimmy Kimmel Live to 12:30. Both ABC and NBC spokespeople denied that there is any merit to this report, but you never know what's going on in the background.
If I'm Jimmy Kimmel, I'd be pretty pissed about being pushed to 12:30 after what would be six years of dutiful service at midnight, especially for the comedy black hole that Leno has become. But Leno gets the ratings, doesn't he? For ABC, it might be worth pissing people off.
Cameron has been married to his former Growing Pains co-star Chelsea Noble for several years, and they have six children.
- CBS has a new Survivor at 8, followed by new eps of CSI and Without A Trace.
- NBC has Deal Or No Deal at 8, followed by new eps of My Name is Earl, The Office, and ER (with the return of Noah Wyle).
- ABC has the movie Sweet Home Alabama, followed by a new Primetime.
- FOX has a new American Idol at 8, followed a new Skating With Celebrities.
- The WB has a repeat Smallville, then a new Beauty and the Geek.
- UPN has new eps of Everybody Hates Chris, Love, Inc, Eve, and Cuts
- Also at 8: FX has X-Men.
- At 9, Larry King interviews Roseanne Barr on CNN, while TBS has the movie Tommy Boy.
- HGTV has new eps of Divine Design, Designer's Challenge, and House Hunters, starting at 9.
- Also at 9: HBO has Dodgeball.
- At 11:30 on ABC, David Straithern guests on Nightline.
- At 12:30, Cartoon Network has a new Neon Genesis Evangelion.
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