Late-night TV was much more fun when its stars held grudges — Dave dissed Jay, Jay nixed Joan out of respect to Johnny, Kimmel savaged Jay, and so on. These days, effusive praise of one another is the fashion. On NBC last night, Seth Meyers told his audience new CBS Late Show star Stephen Colbert is “one of the nicest people” he’s ever met and they both went to Northwestern, “so that’s very exciting for me.” Jimmy Fallon assured his audience that while “the media” is talking about “how there is going to be a new late-night war…there’s not going to be any war.”Related: Stephen Colbert Named CBS’ New ‘Late Show’ HostHere’s Fallon, followed by Meyers, welcoming Colbert to the broadcast fray:
“I love that guy,” Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon effused tonight of David Letterman — one night after Letterman announced he would retire next year. “It’s hard to imagine late-night TV without him, ’cause he revolutionized it. He made it what it is today. And, after I heard the news, I kind of started thinking about reasons why Letterman is retiring. … If you want, I could just read my Top 10.” Here’s the clip:
UPDATE: 10:45 AM: Jimmy Fallon led comfortably in the ratings last night, despite Jimmy Kimmel’s big “get” – first-ever JKL appearance by former President Bill Clinton. Fallon got a last-minute assist from former VPOTUS-candidate-turned-reality-TV-regular Sarah Palin. In Nielsen’s 56 metered markets, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon scored a household 3.0/7; CBS’ Late Show With David Letterman a 2.5/6, and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live a 2.4/6. In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, adult 18-49 results were: Tonight at 1.1/5; Late Show’s 0.5/2; and JKL’s 0.8/4. Watch Clinton and Kimmel here:
If you’re the sort who makes his living swimming in the social-media sea like I do, one form of sport these days is the online battles between big shows to grab fan mindshare and loyalty from each other — particularly as the networks slowly begin to understand that this stuff can make a difference. And nowhere are those battles more starkly direct and entertaining than in late-night, where each talk show has a big team of social-media specialists culling potentially viral bits from the day’s program and sprinkling them across the web. The battle has become particularly stout between Jimmy Fallon‘s online team at The Tonight Show and the Jimmy Kimmel Live crew.
Both shows have had big lead-ins recently (the Winter Olympics in Fallon’s first days; ABC’s Oscars on March 2, when Kimmel went live on the East Coast right after the awards show ended). But the crucial bit is not the audience you’re bequeathed, but the one you build. According to data from RelishMIX, which tracks fan engagement for TV shows and movies across, particularly, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, no one’s building better right now than Fallon. Overall, from March 3-March 10, Fallon’s YouTube videos were watched nearly four times as often as Kimmel’s, 27.5 million to 7.6 million. That’s a margin. Right now, Kimmel still leads Fallon in total YouTube subscribers, about 3 million to less than 2.7 million. Then again, Kimmel’s been at it for a while; Fallon took over the Tonight Show social media outlets barely a month ago.
Stephen Colbert Visits ‘Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’ To Plug ‘Mr. Peabody & Sherman’ And ‘Colbert Report’
Late-night competitor Stephen Colbert stopped by Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, discussed playing Paul Peterson in Mr. Peabody and Sherman, and tried to get Fallon to plug his Comedy Central show during a round of Truth or Truth. Watch here:
Weekly Column: Three weeks into the post-Jay Leno Tonight Show era, his replacement Jimmy Fallon is still the frontrunner, though his margins have shrunk, his ABC competitor Jimmy Kimmel has regained ground he lost temporarily during Fallon’s highly hyped first week with a Sochi Olympics lead-in. Now the two Jimmys are settling in for the long haul, as they wrestle over America’s late-night viewing habit.
All eyes were on Fallon when he kicked off his Tonight tenure during the second Monday of NBC’s Olympics coverage, with a star-studded week that included guests Will Smith, U2, Jerry Seinfeld, Lady Gaga, the First Lady, and Justin Timberlake. More than 11 million viewers listened as Fallon asked that they give him time to get it right. And, over the course of that first week, with DVR-watchers factored in, Fallon drew the biggest weekly audience Tonight had enjoyed since Johnny Carson signed off after 30 years in 1992 — an average of 10.42 million viewers. Those viewers, NBC noted, had the youngest median age of any weekly crowd for any of the broadcast TV 11:35 PM talk shows this season: 52.6 years.
Then the honeymoon was over.
In Fallon’s Week 2, headline writers turned their attention to ABC’s Kimmel and the ninth iteration of his much-ballyhooed, even more celeb-studded post-Oscar show, which jumped 22% in total viewers year-to-year to nab nearly 7 million viewers. It was the ABC late-night program’s largest-ever overall audience for any single-day telecast in either late-night or primetime and up 20% in the demo, to reach 2.423 million. In each of the country’s Top 3 markets – New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago – Kimmel’s show coming out of the most-watched Oscarcast in a decade outperformed both the final Tonight broadcast with Leno and the first Tonight with Fallon, in households and in the demo.
Kimmel followed this up the very next night with what members of the media regarded as the Holy Grail of late-night bookings — Toronto’s wildly unpredictable, much-memed Mayor Rob Ford. This past Monday, Kimmel mopped sweat from Ford’s brow, and suggested the mayor might want to get some help if he does in fact have a drinking problem, which Ford laughed off, saying he “wasn’t elected to be perfect” and that he is “just a normal average, hardworking politician.” To which Kimmel respectfully insisted Ford is not only not average, “you are the most wonderful mayor I’ve ever witnessed.” And, while final stats for Monday’s sit-down aren’t available yet, Jimmy Kimmel Live that night achieved a 2.5/6 in metered market homes, jumping 19% (and 50% in the demo) from the prior Monday, to land in his nearest competitive position on a Monday yet against Fallon. That said, Fallon still topped Kimmel by 68% in metered market households and by 89% in demo ratings in the 25 LPM markets, with his former Saturday Night Live Weekend Update co-anchor Tina Fey as guest. (Kimmel’s Oscar surge appeared to have fizzled by Tuesday night where, in Nielsen’s 56 metered markets, JKL fell to a 1.7/5 — well behind Fallon’s 3.5/9 — though ABC’s new 10 PM series Mind Games, with its 0.6 demo rating and its 2, 2.120 million viewers, may have contributed.)
Biggest difference happened on Monday night when Fallon did two opening monologues – the first in which he introduced himself and set up the show’s storyline for the next (NBC hopes) 20 years or so, trying to put at ease the many Jay Leno viewers who heard Jay say he’s good with being shown the door while still No. 1 in the ratings, but who may not feel so hot about it themselves. That night, Fallon described himself as a guy who grew up in a small town and lives with his “beautiful wife” and six-month old daughter Winnie who he loves so much. He noted his announcer Steve Higgins is from Iowa and lives with his wife and great kids, and that his band The Roots, had backed up Tony Bennett.
Not coincidentally, Fallon’s opening mirrored Leno’s Tonight Show finale in many ways. Both men’s shows included a parade of celebrities paying tribute to the host (weirdly, Kim Kardashian appeared in both parades, though it may not be so odd, what with her Keeping Up with the Kardashians being produced by Ryan Seacrest — an important member of the NBC-parent Comcast family). Jay Leno ended his final broadcast talking about losing his mother and father in the first year he hosted the program; Fallon began his tenure on Tonight with a wave to his mom and dad in the audience, saying how happy he was they are still around, and telling them he hoped they were proud of him, adding “thanks for being there, you guys, I love you.”
Arsenio Hall Accepts Brian Williams’ Apology For Photo Snub, Insists Suge Knight Went Off Script: Video
Arsenio Hall took a victory lap on his show last night and insisted Suge Knight had gone off script the night before when he said Brian Williams had “so many hours” to apologize for omitting Hall’s photo from a recent newscast or “he leaves”. Hall’s program last night aired hours after Williams apologized on NBC Nightly News for leaving Hall’s photo out of a montage of late-night hosts the newscast had run on Monday while plugging Jimmy Fallon’s debut as host of NBC’s Tonight Show.
“A lot of people apparently called NBC last night on my behalf. Well, it worked — we crashed the switchboard!” Hall boasted to his studio audience and viewers at home last night. Hall insisted Knight had gone off script the previous night when Hall brought him out on stage to be the “angry black man” with a message to NBC News and Williams about the snub. “I didn’t know who to call — I’m from the neighborhood, so I called Suge Knight and he stopped by and delivered a message to journalists.” But the message was directed at Williams with Knight telling Hall, “You’re the West Coast; we’re gonna give him so many days, so many hours, to get it right,” adding that if Williams does not, “he leaves.”
In his debut as host of NBC‘s The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon paid homage to the show’s storied tradition while also bringing the energy that marked his stint on Late Night. Fallon started off his very first Tonight Show thanking his predecessors “Steve Allen, Jack Paar, Johnny Carson, Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien and Jay Leno,” in a broadcast that had all of late-night TV’s familiar trappings — the band, the monologue, the couch, the desk — and featured surprise appearances including Robert De Niro, Tina Fey, Seth Rogen, Kim Kardashian, Sarah Jessica Parker, Rudy Giuliani, Mariah Carey, Mike Tyson, and Lady Gaga, who joined first guests Will Smith and U2. The intro directed by Spike Lee reminds viewers that Tonight is back in New York City by showing Fallon in familiar spots including Katz’s Deli. The theme carries over to the spare, elegant set designed by Eugene Lee with its behind-the-desk images of the skyline and wood carvings of some landmarks. (The desk includes a laptop computer to Fallon’s left.) The Roots played the host on with a new theme song that owes a lot to Motown.
The host wore a gray suit with a white shirt and black tie. In a sentimental opening, without apparent irony, he talked about his “great childhood” in Saugerties, NY, where he would not have predicted that he would graduate high school and go on to host The Tonight Show. “I would have said, ‘I graduated high school?” Fallon also thanked his wife and daughter and his parents, who were in the audience. “I wish I could have gotten you better seats, but it’s a hot show, Dad. I hope you’re proud of me. I know you are.” Fallon also praised his band who, he said, “can play with Tony Bennett [and] they can play with Jay-Z without blinking an eye.” He also thanked his announcer Steve Higgins, “one of my best friends, and I love you. It’s going to be fun.” Fallon recalled staying up late to watch Johnny Carson. Hosting the show “means a lot to me. I hope I do well,” he said. “I just want to do the best I can and take care of the show for a while.” He added that “anyone I can make fun of I will … so you go to sleep with a smile on your face and live a longer life.”
Thanks to all our friends who stopped by tonight! And special thanks to everyone who tuned in for our very first episode! #FallonTonight
— Fallon Tonight (@FallonTonight) February 18, 2014
Following a report on North Koreans “living in the midst of a modern-day Hitler” (Kim Jon-un), a report on a plane hijacking, and another on today’s American results from Sochi, NBC Nightly News turned over a …