These past few months have been like late-night musical chairs over at NBC: First, Jimmy Fallon took over Conan O'Brien's old Late Night gig. Then, Conan slid into Jay Leno's Tonight Show seat. (Leno will be back in September with a new primetime show.)
Settling into a new late-night show can take some time, so how do you think these two are doing? Do you think Fallon's gotten more comfortable behind the desk? Or do you think Conan is doing the best job moving his offbeat brand of humor to Tonight?
Photos courtesy of NBC
NBC's long-planned late night transition really gets underway tonight, when Jimmy Fallon takes the Late Night reigns from Conan O'Brien. Since December, Fallon's been doing regular video blogs online, and he's already gotten some buzz for a couple of things, including hiring The Roots as his house band and "Jack McBrayer's response to the Internet response to the Republican response to the President's address to Congress."
Nonetheless, O'Brien's bound to be a tough act to follow, so I'm wondering: Will you be giving Fallon's version of Late Night a chance? Check out Fallon's final video blog here, then let me know below if you'll be tuning in for more.
Photo courtesy of NBC
With all the Jay Leno news and Jimmy Fallon buzz lately, it was interesting to read this story suggesting that Joel McHale of The Soup would be a good candidate for a late-night talk show of his own.
According to the story, McHale wouldn't want the job anyway (he'd rather do movies), but I think it's a great idea. From everything I've seen, he's definitely funny enough to hold down a weeknight slot.
That got me thinking about other people whom I'd love to see get their own talk shows. Amy Poehler has that whole NBC sitcom gig coming up, so that will probably keep her busy for a while, but I bet she'd be great behind a late-night desk. And while she's certainly divisive, Kathy Griffin is so funny when she's riffing off other people (say, Anderson Cooper) that I think she'd be a hilarious talk show interviewer.
What about you? Is there anyone you've always thought deserved a daytime or late-night talk show of his or her own?
Whoa! Here's some breaking news from the late-night TV world: TV Week is reporting that Jay Leno's going to get a new show at 10 p.m. every weeknight starting in the Fall of 2009, leading into Conan O'Brien's Tonight Show and Jimmy Fallon's Late Night.
That's certainly a new twist in NBC's late-night plans, which we were just talking about earlier today. According to this story, the plan will be formally announced Tuesday and Leno will "be given a significant pay raise, since his new show will be in prime time."
Just today, NBC's president was talking about cutting back the hours of primetime programming NBC produced, and this looks like a way to do it — Leno's shown he can deliver an audience, and NBC won't have to worry about launching a new drama or comedy in those slots. (On the other hand, that cuts down on the number of scripted shows on broadcast networks — but it's not like NBC's been doing such a great job there lately anyway.)
Obviously, this story's still developing, so I'll keep an eye out for more details. But for now, what are your first reactions? Is it a smart move to keep Leno, even at the expense of the traditional 10 p.m. drama hour? Or is it totally crazy?
Photo courtesy of NBC
So the late-night hosts returned to TV on Wednesday — some with their writers, some without — for the first time since the start of the writers' strike two months ago. There were a bunch of questions: Would David Letterman and Craig Ferguson get better guests since their shows aren't being picketed? And would people be more likely to watch the shows with writers or the ones without? (So far, it's the ones without.)
But I'm wondering about something much more important today: Did Letterman or Conan O'Brien grow the better strike beard? (We ask the hard-hitting questions around here, you know.)
All of the major late-night hosts — Jay Leno, David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel, Conan O'Brien, and Craig Ferguson — return to the air tonight with new episodes for the first time since the Hollywood writers' strike began in November. Leno, Kimmel, and O'Brien will be winging it without their writers (and with picketing writers demonstrating outside their shows' studios).
Letterman and Ferguson, however, have their writing staffs intact after Letterman's Worldwide Pants production company, which owns the shows, cut a deal with the Writers Guild of America. That might also help the shows to get better guests since there won't be a picket line to cross — Letterman, for example, is returning with Robin Williams on the couch.
I'm wondering: Are you more likely to watch Letterman (or Craig Ferguson) because the writers' union says it's OK?
Photos courtesy of CBS
We already knew that Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien would be returning to host their late-night shows on Jan. 2, and now it looks like all the other major talk show hosts might be ready to join them.
Jimmy Kimmel will definitely be back on the air then. He issued a statement on Tuesday saying "Though it makes me sick to do so without my writers, there are more than a hundred people whose financial well-being depends on our show. It is time to go back to work."
David Letterman and Craig Ferguson are looking to return Jan. 2 as well — but Letterman is hoping to find a way to bring their writers along, too. Letterman's Worldwide Pants production company, which owns both shows, is trying to make its own deal with the Writers Guild of America. There's at least one report that the hosts will return, writers or not, but a statement from Worldwide Pants says returning with writers is the company's only focus.
One question that's still not answered: Will any of these late-night shows be able to book guests? Guests would have to cross a picket line to make their appearances, and — as with the Golden Globes — many actors might not be willing to do that.