OK, maybe Conan O’Brien could use a little help on the hookup from time to time, given that Nike-worthy swoosh of red hair atop his 6’5″ frame, but really, does any member of the Franco clan, especially young Dave Franco, need to worry about whipping out the Tinder mobile app to connect with comely cyber-denizens interested in more-than-virtual meetings? They have a lot of fun filling out their fake profiles as “Chip Whitley” and “Jengis Roundstone,” but remember folks, don’t try this at home. It could be a Tinder trap. Check out the video here:
Global Showbiz Briefs: Nigerian Censor OKs ‘Half Of A Yellow Sun’ Release; ‘My Man Can’ Headed To France; More
Nigerian Censor OKs ‘Half Of A Yellow Sun’ Release
Nigeria has given a greenlight to the distribution of Chiwetel Ejiofor starrer Half Of A Yellow Sun. The drama will be released August 1, after being certified by the National Film and Video Censors Board. It previously was due to open in April, but some scenes were deemed objectionable at the time, the BBC notes. Thandie Newton also stars in the adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s best-selling novel. Set in 1960s Nigeria, the story brings audiences into a country torn apart by civil war and shows how the interwoven lives of four central characters intersect during a struggle to establish an independent republic of Nigeria. Biyi Bandele is the director. In a statement, Shareman Media and FilmOne Distribution thanked Nigerians for their “patience and support”.
‘My Man Can’ Game Show Headed To France
French television network NRJ 12 has ordered a local version of Red Arrow International’s game show format My Man Can. The premise sees four women gamble with the abilities of their partners, putting their man’s courage and skills to the ultimate test. It’s been sold to more than 30 countries worldwide. In France, Enibas Productions will produce it under the moniker, Cheri T´es Le Meilleur (Sweetie, You’re The Best).
Two Weeks In, Conan O’Brien Has 3M Hits In China
Watching the classy late-night transition from Jay Leno to Jimmy Fallon and David Letterman to Stephen Colbert, it is hard not to feel a little badly for Conan O’Brien and the way he was set on fire several years ago when Leno grudgingly handed off the Tonight Show torch to him — and then refused to go away. NBC’s unwillingness to commit to O’Brien despite his lengthy tenure in the 12:30 slot created the biggest bungle in late-night history. A large financial settlement didn’t ease the sting of O’Brien realizing his dream of filling the seat once occupied by his idol Johnny Carson, only to lose it seven months later. O’Brien’s long past that, now, and comfortable and confident in his 11 PM slot at TBS with a show as strong in quality viral video bits as Fallon’s and Jimmy Kimmel’s, and a mischievous spirit that seemed to have gone missing when O’Brien tried catering to the masses from that cavernous Tonight Show set. His show is as sharp now as any time since the lanky redhead came from The Simpsons writers room to NBC in 1993 and honed his distinctive, self-deprecating style for the college and insomniac crowd. Here, O’Brien talks about his place in the shifting late-night landscape, and how social media has played to his strength.
DEADLINE: Your TBS show recaptured something lost during the Tonight Show stint, that “I can’t believe we’re getting away with this, don’t tell the grown-ups” vibe. What’s the biggest difference between the show you do now and the one you did for so long at NBC?
CONAN O’BRIEN: The biggest difference is how much social media has changed the DNA of what I do. I came up in the old system 21 years ago, when Carson had just retired and there were only a couple of us doing this. It felt then like I was the awkward kid in the tree house, looking down on the adults. When we started the show at TBS, I had to jump into social media overnight. I didn’t even have a Twitter account, but it was so important in launching my national tour and how I stayed alive during that down period after The Tonight Show.
Late last night, Pete Holmes took to Facebook and posted an upbeat goodbye to his fans, while giving thanks to those who made The Pete Holmes Show happen on TBS, specifically a big shout out to executive producer Conan O’Brien. Yesterday, TBS announced the cancellation of The Pete Holmes Show on account of its ratings. At the end of his letter, Holmes left fans with a knee-slappin’ video of his impersonation of Ray Romano, singing duets of songs like “A Whole New World” and “Endless Love”, with the actual Ray Romano. Read below.
Sadly, The Pete Holmes Show has not been renewed for more episodes. I know! Frowny face emoticon!
I just want to let everyone know that while the news isn’t what I was hoping for, my main takeaway from this entire wonderful experience is extreme gratitude.
We got to make eighty (eight-zero! Sometimes filming as many as 19 in ten days!) episodes and I am extremely proud of each and every one of them. I talked to and worked with my heroes. I met incredible athletes and filmmakers. I shook hands regularly with a puppet. I got to work everyday in a magical chocolate factory of joy side by side with some of my best friends laughing and being silly all day. And then I got to share it with our fans. It was an absolute dream come true.
I want to thank Oren Brimer and Nick Bernstein for their
Conan O’Brien launched his late-night show on TBS in November 2010. Fifteen months later, the show was extended though April 2014. Now TBS is making a big statement that O’Brien is there to stay, renewing Conan through 2018. With Jay Leno retiring this spring and David Letterman set to follow him, O’Brien next year will become the new doyen of late night where he recently marked his 20th anniversary. Year to date, Conan is averaging a modest 862,000 viewers in Live+7. His strength is in younger viewers, topping a number of late-night competitors among adults 18-34 including The Late Show With David Letterman, The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Arsenio Hall Show, Chelsea Lately and Watch What Happens: Live. Conan also has been a digital juggernaut, with O’Brien counting 10.7 million Twitter followers, more than any other late-night star on cable. Last year, O’Brien expanded his late-night presence on TBS with a companion, The Pete Holmes Show, which is produced by his company Conaco.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine co-creator/exec producer Dan Goor has signed a new two-year overall deal with the studio behind the Fox cop comedy, Universal TV where fellow Brooklyn co-creator Mike Schur also is under an overall deal. “Dan Goor is a gifted writer and show-runner who has delivered for us in a big way with our critically acclaimed and growing hit Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” said Uni TV’s Bela Bajaria. Under the deal, Goor will continue to exec produce Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which won the Golden Globe for best TV comedy series earlier this year. The series has been renewed for a second season. Goor previously served as executive producer on NBC’s Parks & Recreation, sharing in the series best comedy series Emmy nomination in 2011. Before that, Goor, repped by UTA and attorney PJ Shapiro, spent five seasons as a writer on Late Night With Conan O’Brien. Goor began his career as a staff writer on The Daily Show for three seasons.
WRITETHRU: President Obama accepted the Shoah Foundation’s Ambassador of Humanity Award from Steven Spielberg tonight during a ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza. Following some jokes from host Conan O’Brien and acoustic takes on set from Bruce Springsteen (“The Promised Land” and a haunting “Dancing In The Dark”), Spielberg presented the president with the honor, after which Obama gave a heartfelt and somber speech before a crowd of about 1,300, according to the White House pool report. He didn’t touch on any subjects directly related to the entertainment industry, but the crowd that included many Hollywood heavy-hitters was moved by its universal themes of violence, war and intolerance. “The work of this foundation,” he said, “the testimonies of survivors like those with us tonight, also remind us that the purpose of memory is not simply to preserve the past; it is to protect the future.” It was the second stop on the president’s visit to Los Angeles. Earlier in the evening, he spoke at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser hosted by Alan and Cindy Horn at their Bel-Air home. The mood was much lighter for the roughly 90 guests, including Jeffrey Katzenberg and Barbra Streisand, who shelled out $64,800 a couple. They heard the president give what amounted to a stump speech that also eschewed any mention of showbiz. Obama will stay overnight before leaving for San Diego in the late morning. A full transcript of his Shoah Foundation speech is at the bottom of the original post.
4TH UPDATE, 10:15 PM: Host Conan O’Brien kicked off the Shoah Foundation event where President Obama was being honored with a few zingers. “Whoever Steven [Spielberg] suckered to tell jokes at this event is a true idiot,” he said in his opening remarks. The late-night host teased Obama about the traffic gridlock his visit caused. “You left Washington six hours ago, but I left Burbank seven hours ago.” But O’Brien got one of the night’s biggest laughs when he mentioned Spielberg’s efforts to record Holocaust survivors and other victims of genocide. O’Brien said the filmmaker “was recording evidence of intolerance long before Donald Sterling’s girlfriend.” Obama was seen laughing at the remark. The TBS host also acknowledged the philanthropists and other humanitarians in the room before reminding everyone of the true nature of Hollywood. “I’m also told there are some people from CAA here, so that evens it out,” he said to a huge laugh. “They don’t represent me, so I don’t care.” He then introduced Bruce Springsteen, who played a couple of acoustic numbers including a haunting version of “Dancing In The Dark.” As he introduced Spielberg after the performance, O’Brien recalled a lunch they’d had when he first moved to LA in 2009 for what ended up being a short stint hosting The Tonight Show. “Steven took me on a tour of his awards,” he said. “It took 5 hours.”
Spielberg then took the podium. “Everywhere from Syria to southern Sudan, the world has yet to learn the lessons,” he said of genocide and war during his introduction of Obama.”This program exists because we know the future can be re-written.” Then he introduced the president, who gave a somber and heartfelt speech that ran about 15 minutes.
“Memory has become a sacred duty of all people of good will,” Obama said after accepting the Ambassador of Humanity Award from Spielberg. The president passionately praised genocide survivors in the packed ballroom as “inspirations of hope.” He also praised the foundation’s work capturing on video the survivors’ stories “Recording the memories that would be lost to time. … They turn never forget into never again.”
He later said, “It’s up to us to search our own hearts for those stories that have no place in our world.” The president asked the crowd to “erode” the destructive forces of anti-Semitism and other bigotry and injustice. “Drop by drop by drop … never forget, never again,” said Obama, who mention in closing the abduction of hundreds of schoolgirls in Nigeria and the civil war in Syria.
Conan O’Brien‘s Team Coco is set to launch a new comedy label this summer, beginning with the release of the debut stand-up album from comedian Ian Edwards, 100% Half Assed. The album was recorded at the La Jolla Comedy Store on March 8 and will be released in June. Team Coco says the concept for the new record label was born of a desire to help shine a spotlight on rising comedians while allowing them more creative control and a greater stake in the success of the release. Over the past 20 years, O’Brien has used his late-night franchise as a platform for launching groundbreaking stand-up comedy. Since debuting in 2010 on TBS, Conan reps say their show has featured more performances from stand-up comedians than any other late-night program on TV. In addition to inviting comics to perform on Conan, Team Coco has produced comedy specials like Team Coco Presents: The Conan Writers Live and has spotlighted some of the show’s favorite comedians on Conan After Hours, hosted by Pete Holmes.
Conan O’Brien in 2013:
Jimmy Kimmel in 2012:
Seth Meyers in 2011:
And, of course, the one the White House Correspondents’ Association would rather everyone forgot – 2006, when Stephen Colbert torched the place:
From the Interesting Timing department: The same day Craig Ferguson tells his audience he’s leaving The Late Late Show in December, Chelsea Handler turns up a guest on TBS’ Conan. There’s been no shortage of chatter about what the future holds for the soon-to-be-former host of E!’s Chelsea Lately. Several days ago on Ellen, Handler ended her teasing about a CBS late-night gig, saying she “would never be on a regular network”. And when Conan O’Brien mentions the scuttlebutt about Handler being close to signing to do a Netflix show, she retorts, “Everything that’s been printed about me is a lie.” Later, in something of a backpedal/attention getter, she adds, “Everything’s an option, honestly.” But O’Brien gets the last laugh in this clip — literally. Have a look:
UPDATED: Today could not have gone much better for Seth Meyers. After being named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the morning, the Late Night host has been set as host of this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards on NBC. The network submitted the late-night host to the TV Academy’s Board of Governors, which just voted to approve him, along with Don Mischer as executive producer.
This marks Meyers‘ debut as Emmy host; he previously emceed the 2010 and 2011 ESPY Awards and the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Dinner. His selection continues the tradition of the current host of Late Night to emcee the Primetime Emmys whenever they air on NBC. Four years ago, it was Meyers’ predecessor Jimmy Fallon, and the two previous times it was Fallon’s predecessor Conan O’Brien. In fact, Fallon’s very well-received 2010 Emmy-hosting stint a year and a half into his late-night tenure is credited with giving him extra momentum that took him all the way to The Tonight Show. NBC brass no doubt hope for a similar extra boost for Meyers, who took over Late Night on February 24. Two months in their new jobs, Fallon and Meyers already have …
About 2.8 million people tuned in to Sunday’s Conan O’Brien-hosted MTV Movie Awards, a million fewer viewers (-27%) than last year’s show. The 2013 trophy show clocked 3.8 million total viewers — up compared to previous year’s 3.2 million even though big winner Jennifer Lawrence didn’t show up, and Parks And Recreation’s Aubrey Plaza got thrown out. Those who watched Sunday’s fan-voted awards saw The Hunger Games: Catching Fire cop movie of the year, Mila Kunis hide her baby bump, Zac Efron lose his shirt and Mark Wahlberg score the MTV Generation Award — or, as he called it, the You’re Too Old To Come Back Award — and Eminem and Rihanna doing the TV debut of their hit “The Monster.”
Sunday’s show also was down by double digits in the network’s core 12-34 demographic, pulling a 2.6 compared with last year’s 3.4 — a 23% drop — and the previous year’s 2.8. In 2012, the MTV Movie Awards pulled in 3.2 million viewers and a 2.8 rating in 12-34. That had all been good news because 2012 was down a troubling 28% in the demo from the 2011 show. Additionally, last year’s show was up 45% among adults 18-34 and up 44% with adults 18-49 compared to ’12.
In an AP video today making its way around the web, latenight talk show host Conan O’Brien gave a warm thumbs up to Stephen Colbert taking over David Letterman’s seat on CBS’ Late Show. “I wasn’t up for it,” said the former Tonight Show host on whether he interviewed for the gig, “I’m very happy where I am. But I love Stephen. Stephen is great. I’m a huge fan of his as a comic and a human being. I think it’s fantastic and I’m really glad he got the job, and I look forward to seeing his show. It’s going to be fantastic.” O’Brien also comments about his hosting gig tomorrow night at the MTV Movie Awards at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. Take a look:
Talk about planning ahead. He’s hosting the MTV Movie Awards for the first time on April 13 and now Conan O’Brien is climbing another pop culture mountain by heading to Comic-Con next year. The TBS late night host plans to broadcast his show from July 8 – 12, 2015 when the studios, the networks and hundreds of thousands of the geekest geeks in geekdom all head to San Diego. In the first time a late night show has broadcast from Comic-Con, CONAN will take over the downtown Spreckels Theater. The production closed the deal on the theater today, a source tells me.Additionally, this is the clearest indication that Conan truly isn’t in the running to take over CBS’ Late Show when David Letterman retires next year. While this is the first time a late nigh show has aired from Comic-Con, this won’t be the first time O’Brien has been to the confab. He was down there in 2011 to promote his animated alter ego the “Flaming C “during a panel for the Green Lantern Animated series panel.
UPDATED THROUGHOUT, 7:35 PM: CBS late-night star David Letterman surprised his studio audience this afternoon when he announced he is retiring in 2015. “The man who owns this network, Leslie Moonves, he and I have had a relationship for years and years and years, and we have had this conversation in the past, and we agreed that we would work together on this circumstance and the timing of this circumstance. And I phoned him just before the program, and I said ‘Leslie, it’s been great, you’ve been great, and the network has been great, but I’m retiring,’” Letterman told his Ed Sullivan Theatre crowd, who reacted with stunned silence. According to sources with knowledge of the situation, Letterman only notified Moonves this morning.
Burbank may have recently lost NBC’s The Tonight Show to NYC after 40 years, but LA’s mayor now wants CBS to make the City of Angels the home of the replacement to Late Show With David Letterman. In a letter today to CBS boss Les Moonves after David Letterman announced that he will retire next year, Mayor Eric Garcetti urged him “to bring CBS’ next late night show to our city.” With shows and features deserting LA in droves in the past decade, Garcetti has made stabilizing and increasing film & TV production in the city a top priority for his still fairly new administration. The mayor created a Film Czar office and has been advocating an expansion of California’s current $100 million Film and TV Tax Credit program. Having said that, LA still has some late-night skin in the game with Letterman’s lead-out Craig Ferguson, Conan O’Brien’s TBS show, Arsenio Hall, and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, but getting CBS to set down more post-primetime roots here would be a real though unlikely coup for the city post-Letterman. Here is Garcetti’s full letter to Moonves:
When powerful music manager Irving Azoff in October joined the team of comedian/talk show host Chelsea Handler, the announcement stated the duo’s intentions. “The host of E!’s top-rated late night show, Chelsea Lately, Handler is busy positioning herself for life after her current contract expires at the end of 2014,” it read. That “positioning” has featured exploratory meetings with production companies and other cable networks. It also has included pointed comments dropped by Handler about her dissatisfaction with E!, recently referring to the network a “a sad, sad place to live” and “a failure” on The Howard Stern Show. Now, after weeks of speculation that the Handler was plotting an exit, Azoff has told The Hollywood Reporter that Handler indeed “intends to leave” when her contract expires at the end of the year. Theoretically, that could be posturing, which is part of any renegotiation where the stakes are this high, but given the fact that Handler specifically hired Asoff to plan her life post-E! and that the rift between the her and E! appears to run pretty deep, the intention appears to be real. That has been confirmed by sources.
There are few other celebrities that are more closely associated with The Tonight Show With Jay Leno than Arnold Schwarzenegger. One of Leno’s favorite guests, Schwarzenegger visited the show a whopping 27 times. He even broke every rule in politics by announcing his run for Governor of California on Leno’s late-night talker. Schwarzenegger’s loyalty to Leno went beyond The Tonight Show — he also guested twice on Leno’s short-lived primetime NBC talk show. From 1985-91, Schwarzenegger frequented NBC’s Late Night With David Letterman, making three appearances there before Leno took over The Tonight Show. It’s been all-Leno since — 29 visits with him vs. one each on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, Late Night With Conan O’Brien when it visited Los Angeles, Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Daily Show zero on David Letterman’s CBS show, O’Brien’s Tonight Show or CBS’ Craig Ferguson.
With Leno gone, Schwarzenegger was up for grabs, especially with The Tonight Show moving to New York. Schwarzenegger is the quintessential Californian, from his humble immigrant beginnings as a bodybuilder on Venice Beach to becoming a Hollywood star to serving as Governor of California. With Leno gone, Kimmel, whom Schwarzenegger visited five years ago, became the top late-night draw in Los Angeles. But in his first late-night appearance following Leno’s departure, Leno stuck with The Tonight Show, in its new New York locale and with its new host, Fallon. That is a pretty big coup …