U.S. Men’s Olympic slopestyle snowboard gold medalist Sage Kotsenburg talks about skipping the Opening Ceremony at Sochi and watching it on TV when he visits CBS’ Late Show with David Letterman. Watch here:
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Jay Leno‘s Tonight Show swan song churned up the franchise’s biggest weekly crowd since the week of NBC’s Cheers finale in ’93. Meanwhile, his replacement, Jimmy Fallon wrapped his Late Night hosting gig with that show’s biggest weekly haul since it followed Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show farewell, in May of ’92.
Leno’s actual Thursday night finale last week clocked the biggest crowd for an individual Tonight show broadcast since Jerry Seinfeld turned up after his primetime hit’s so-long episode, on May 14, 1998.
American popular culture was altered forever 50 years ago this Sunday when four mop-topped lads from England hit the stage at the Ed Sullivan Theatre in Manhattan. More than 73 million people watched in glorious black and white. A half-century later, the two surviving Beatles returned for a chat with the room’s current occupant. Here’s a clip of David Letterman talking with Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr about that landmark night and the landmark theater where it all went down. After the jump, watch McCartney tell a funny story about how a Teamster made him nervous backstage during a later Ed Sullivan Show appearance. The clips are from The Beatles: The Night That Changed America, which CBS is airing Sunday night:
The year 2013 will go down as a big one for late-night TV, and not because Saturday Night Live was shamed into hiring a black woman for its cast – though that was pretty big. Decades from now, in Theory and Practice of Post-11 PM Programming classes at USC and NYU, aspiring network execs will study 2013 as the year NBC decided to move The Tonight Show back to New York. After months of speculation, a slew of news stories, a handful of NBC denials, a ton of late-night jokes, and one Jay Leno-Jimmy Fallon duet, NBC announced in April it had set a date for Leno’s latest departure from Tonight, and officially named Fallon his latest replacement, adding that The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon will be based in New York City, where the long-running franchise originated.
Tonight’s return to New York drastically changes the late-night landscape. With Tonight at 30 Rock, Lorne Michaels for the first time will have charge of the network’s flagship late-night show as well as Saturday Night Live and Late Night – which SNL alum Seth Meyers will host — and can orchestrate an “event” for a guest across all three programs. NBC can also throw in a Today appearance; it’s also housed at 30 Rock. Lorne Michaels Packaging already has been in effect across the other two NBC late-night programs, say industry navel gazers who note how many SNL guests this season also appeared on Fallon’s Late Night. “It’s pretty much been 100% over the last year and a half,” insisted one. “Now he’ll have more power because [Fallon] will be in a better time slot. You’re talking about somebody who has a big series of stages” to offer, the pundit said.
NBC Broadcast chairman Ted Harbert says the network is working to streamline guest booking across its various celebrity-centric New York-based shows which, starting in the fall, will include a Meredith Vieira daytime talk show. “Every single person selling something comes to New York – it’s part of the swing,” he said. “I don’t think you’ll find anybody who only does late-night in Los Angeles and that’s their promotional tour.”
David Letterman is well known for shunning public events like CBS’ upfront. But in the midst of big late-night changes at NBC and ABC, the veteran late-night host showed up at the CBS presentation for the first time in 15 years. CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves broached the subject. “What’s going on out there in late-night? All of a sudden, everybody’s got a Jimmy: they have a Jimmy, they have a Jimmy,” referring to NBC’s and ABC’s new 11:30 PM hosts Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel, respectively. “We thought we don’t have a Jimmy. Jimmy Buffet is too tropical, Jimmy Carter too political, Jimmy Hoffa not available. There are a lot of Jimmys out there but there is only one Dave, David Letterman.” Letterman walked out to a thunderous applause and engaged in a looong hug with Moonves. “I’m honored to be here for your pledge drive,” Letterman quipped, proceeding to make fun of CBS head of sales Joanne Ross’ projection dress. “Everyone here is very excited to see me, they think I’m Bob Schieffer. When Leslie invited me here, I thought I was being fired.”
Related: CBS 2013-14 Schedule
Two decades after the Jay Leno-David Letterman battle for The Tonight Show, the Tonight Show curse has struck again with yet another messy host transition. In 1992, NBC had two hot young comedians eager to replace longtime Tonight host Johnny Carson, Leno and Letterman. The network chose Leno and created a formidable late-night rival in Letterman, who defected to CBS to launch The Late Show. Leno and Letterman had been going at each other ever since, looking to outrate and outlast each other. Letterman had the upper hand in the ratings early on before Leno took the lead, holding onto it for the most of the past 17 years. The two even have been timing their contracts to end at the same time. They did it again this time, with Leno’s deal up in September 2014 and Letterman’s contract also going through late 2014.
NBC‘s announcement today that Leno will retire in spring (likely February) of 2014, assures that Letterman will be the last man standing in the duo’s 20-year rivalry. Having outlasted his archrival, 65-year-old Letterman too may decide to retire at the end of his deal instead of going toe-to-toe with younger new competitors, Jimmy Fallon (38) on NBC and Jimmy Kimmel (45) on ABC. The key thing is that it will likely be his decision to make. Letterman has largely been given carte blanche to do the show for as long as he wants to. (Though in his recent interview with Oprah, Letterman claimed he has an agreement with CBS topper Les Moonves that Moonves has to tell him when it is time to go.)
David Letterman didn’t waste any time to take his digs at NBC and the official announcement that Jay Leno is leaving The Tonight Show next year to be replaced by Jimmy Fallon. “I got a call from my mom today, she says, ‘Well, David, I see you didn’t get the Tonight Show again,’ ” the CBS Late Show host said in his monologue to air tonight (see the preview below). “NBC, God bless ‘em, announced the official date for Jay Leno’s departure — no mention of his official date of return, however,” he added, alluding to the last time his longtime late-night rival was dumped from the Tonight Show for Conan O’Brien — only to return eight months later. Added Letterman: “It seems like we just went through this. Didn’t we just go through this? Jay Leno now is being replaced, and this is the second time this has happened. I mean, it’s crazy. He’s being replaced by a younger late-night talk show host — what could possibly go wrong? Honestly. They had pretty good luck with this in the past”.
As well as doing a Leno-themed Top 10 tonight, Letterman — who was passed over for the Tonight Show job in favor of Leno in 1992 and soon after departed for CBS – had more to say. From his desk tonight:
David Letterman, who’s never been shy about his feelings about Jay Leno, gives his old rival a classic back-handed compliment in his upcoming interview with Oprah Winfrey on her OWN program Oprah’s Next Chapter. “He’s an unusual fellow. I’ve never met anyone quite like Jay,” Letterman says in the released promo clip. “And I will say, and I’m happy to say, that I think he is the funniest guy I’ve ever known. Just flat out, if you go to see him do his nightclub act, just the funniest, the smartest, a wonderful observationist and very appealing as a comic. Therefore, the fact that he is also maybe the most insecure person I have ever known — I could never reconcile that.” Ouch! Letterman’s statement on Leno was actually in response to Winfrey’s question when the duo’s rivalry began (not when Leno got the Tonight Show gig according to Letterman), so we’ll presumably find that out. The interview, which comes on the heels of fellow latetnight comedian Jimmy Kimmel bashing Leno, airs January 6. Winfrey, Letterman and Leno have a history together — the trio did the famous Late Night With David Letterman Super Bowl promo, which aired at the height of NBC’s Leno-Conan debacle of 2010. (you watch it again below)
At his first taping after Friday’s massacre at a Connecticut elementary school, David Letterman spent a good portion of his opening remarks during Monday’s Late Night With David Letterman behind his desk, expressing his feelings about the killings — …
Oy, what an embarrassing (or was it charming?) bromance by both late-night hosts Wednesday while Jimmy Kimmel Live is filming in Brooklyn: