Arsenio Hall‘s syndicated show, with guest/musical performer Prince, snagged a 1.4/3 in the overnights — a 56% jump compared to its February sweep average. In the demo, The Arsenio Hall Show jumped 50% to a 0.6/2, which put it in a tie with Jimmy Kimmel Live! (0.6/3) and bested Conan (0.4/1), Chelsea Lately (0.2/1) and others in the demo. On the rare television appearance (he recently appeared as himself in Fox’s post-Super Bowl episode of New Girl), Prince performed a new tune, “Funknroll,” and took questions from the audience. Prince also performed the vintage track “She’s Always In My Hair” and premiered new song “Mutiny” with his group 3RDEYEGIRL joining him, The New Power Generation and a 30-piece band onstage.
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.)
As he does every year, Jimmy Kimmel debuted silly, star-studded fake movie trailers on his show following the Oscars. This time, they were inspired by viral YouTube videos. Here are two of them. Bitman Begins, based on the family video Charlie Bit My Finger, in which an infant boy bites his toddler brother’s finger, features Oscar winners Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep as well as real life brothers Chris Hemsworth and Liam Hemsworth. The trippy Ameowdeus, a take on Keyboard Cat, Hamster on a Piano and Dramatic Chipmunk, stars Kevin Spacey, Christoph Waltz, Gary Oldman, Ben Kingsley, Abbie Cornish and Mandy Patinkin.
UPDATE: White House Finally Weighs In On Petition Over ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ China Segment: “The Federal Government Cannot Force ABC To Remove This Show”
UPDATED, 9:06 PM: It took nearly three months — and it happened late on a Friday night — but the Obama administration has responded to the controversy that erupted from an October 16 segment on Jimmy Kimmel Live in which a child giggled during a taped interview that the way to deal with the country’s debt to China was to kill everyone in China. White House reminded everyone that a 6-year-old’s response to the question of how the U.S. should repay its $1.3 trillion debt to China is protected free speech. Here’s the official White House response to the petition; video of the segment is below:
Thank you for your petition. Your petition requested an apology from those involved, and to “cut the show.”
The parties involved have already apologized independently. Jimmy Kimmel has apologized on-air, and issued a written apology. ABC has removed the skit from future broadcasts, taken the clip down from online platforms, and detailed several changes in its programming review process in response to this incident. …
On a broader level, as the President has stated publicly, the United States welcomes the continuing peaceful rise of China. The comments you are writing about do not reflect mainstream views of China in the United States.
The Federal government cannot force ABC to remove this show. The First Amendment of the Constitution protects free speech, even if individuals might personally find it offensive or distasteful. It may be upsetting when people say things we might personally disagree with, but the principle of protected free speech is an important part of who we are as a nation.
If you think this issue merits additional scrutiny, you may file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission by visiting FCC.gov/Complaints. The FCC is an independent agency that regulates the airwaves without input or consideration from the White House.
PREVIOUSLY, November 7: The White House will weigh in on one of Jimmy Kimmel Live’s Kids Table segments, after a petition protesting that broadcast logged the required 100,000 signatures within 30 days. The petition was started after the October 16 broadcast of the ABC late night show featured Kimmel asking a group of precocious well-dressed kids about this and that, including how to spell Barack Obama. Kids Table segments routinely feature Kimmel getting unscripted responses from kids to issues of the day. Big question of that day: how to repay the $1.3 trillion the U.S. owes China. “Kill everyone in China,” giggled a little boy named Braxton.
Year-End Late-Night TV: ‘Tonight’s Move To NY May Give NBC More Clout With Talent, But Digital May Make Booking War Obsolete
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.”
Kids say the darndest things. And sometimes they’re enough to cause an international TV incident. ABC has issued a formal apology after a boy suggested during a Jimmy Kimmel Live skit that the way to retire the U.S.’ debt to a particular country was to “kill all the people in China.” That didn’t sit well with the 80-20 Inititave, a web-based group that promotes equal opportunity for Asian Americans. In a letter to the organization, ABC apologized and said the skit will be cut from future airings of the show on all platforms. “We would never purposefully broadcast anything to upset the Chinese community, Asian community, anyone of Chinese descent or any community at large,” ABC said. The 6-year-old’s unscripted comment came during an October 16 sketch called “Kids Table” in which youngsters opine on big news topics of the day. After Kimmel told the pint-sized panel that Uncle Sam owes China $1.3 trillion, he asked, “How should we pay them back?” One precocious lad replied with a grin, “Kill all the people in China.” Ugh. Here’s the video. The network’s full statement is after the jump:
UPDATED: Jimmy Kimmel and Kanye West Will Work Out Issues Like Normal People — On TV, Tomorrow Night
UPDATED, 7:46 PM: Kanye West: the gift that keeps on giving to Jimmy Kimmel as he trains to go head-to-head against the formidable Lorne Michaels, and Jimmy Fallon, in late night. “Kanye and I had a disagreement a couple of weeks ago, and it got a little bit out of hand. Tomorrow night, we will sit down and discuss it like normal people do — on television,” Kimmel said on tonight’s Jimmy Kimmel Live. “It’ll just be us, and Dr. Phil. And neither of us is leaving until this government shutdown gets solved. So if you’ve always wanted to see a talk show host get strangled by a pair of leather jogging pants, join us tomorrow.”
Last month the ABC late-night star did a comedy bit mocking the notoriously thin-skinned West. Too easy, we know, but he did it anyway. On his show, Kimmel had a child perform lines delivered by West during an interview with BBC Radio 1, in which he declared himself the biggest rock star in the world; he also appeared to lodged a complaint against the fashion industry — something about those leather jogging pants.
These two disciples of Aristophanes kept the comedy going for some time. West took to Twitter; Kimmel responded on his show. West suggested Kimmel put himself in his shoes — except, he noted, Kimmel couldn’t do that because “that means you would have gotten too much good pussy in your life.” “I’ve seen the video. I know,” Kimmel responded.
1) Prank America with fake YouTube video in which an twerking girl ignites herself. Check. 2) Get Paul McCartney to perform on yet another roof. Check. 3) Do comedy bit mocking notoriously thin-skinned Kanye West. Too easy? Check.
Watch Kimmel cash in on his Kanye West spoof last night, followed by the spoof that got Kanye’s undies in a bunch:
UPDATE: Early Stats Suggest Justin Timberlake And Bill Clinton Topped Paul McCartney Concert In Late-Night Race: Video
UPDATE: 11 AM: ABC did not order rush national numbers for Paul McCartney’s Jimmy Kimmel Live concert/Hollywood Blvd. shutdown. But in Nielsen’s 56 metered markets, NBC’s The Tonight Show (2.9/8) and CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman, with former POTUS Bill Clinton as guest (2.6/7), both out-rated JKL (2.3/6) in households.
In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, Leno (1.0/5) also edged Kimmel (0.7/4) in the 18-49 demo; Kimmel was virtually tied with Letterman (0.7/3). FYI, Kimmel is usually strong in the metered markets relative to final national stats, while Leno is usually flat to a little understated, and Letterman gets understated in the metered markets.
PREVIOUS, 7:18 AM: On the first night of the new TV season, the late-night war escalated between NBC’s The Tonight Show and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live. While JKL closed down Hollywood Blvd. for a free Paul McCartney mini-concert (two songs for JKL – 13 more for the estimated 10,000 fans on the street), Tonight welcomed Justin Timberlake, who talked about President Obama, but did not perform because, a source said, he felt under the weather. Timberlake is scheduled to perform his own mini-concert for JKL and fans on Hollywood Blvd. tonight. Check it out below:
Paul McCartney closes Hollywood Blvd:
Jimmy Kimmel is stepping up his game in the walk-up to Jimmy Fallon‘s take-over of The Tonight Show, revealing on his Jimmy Kimmel Live! last night he’d faked the “Worst Twerk Fail EVER – Girl Catches On Fire!” video that went viral last week and snagged 9 million views in under a week. Kimmel’s show had emailed an alert earlier in the day that he’d booked the woman in the video who, ABC said, had shot the twerking video for her boyfriend. In the video, the woman falls over onto a coffee table filled with burning pillar candles — the international sign for “sexy” — which catches her yoga pants on fire. Among those who got punked by Kimmel’s video: Fallon.
Kimmel detailed how he’d enlisted a boatload of unwitting news and infotainment outlets to promote himself and his show. On his show last night, Kimmel showed the “end” of the video, in which he enters the room and puts out her pants with a fire extinguisher. The twerking girl announced to Kimmel’s audience she’s actually a stunt woman named Daphne. (continued)
“So there you go. To the conspiracy theorists on the Internet who thought we made it up – you were right, it was fake,” Kimmel giggled, noting that “did not stop hundreds of news outlets from showing it.” To complete the fun, he then showed a “sampling” of “media outlets” that fell for the video. Only one ABC program was included in the sample: The View. (The Ladies of The View were clearly not amused and, at the top of this morning’s show they aired a video said to be a look at at yesterday’s morning’s backstage pre-show planning meeting, in which they took turns saying of the twerk video: “I thought It was staged,” and “totally fake,” and “It has Jimmy written all over it.” After which, Babs Walters turned to the camera and snarked, “So, here’s to you, Jimmy Fallon!”)
CNN got a big nick, including CNN and HLN. NBC got scorched pretty badly too, with clips from MSNBC, and NBC’s Today. CBS’ The Talk was the only program from that network pilloried in the segment, as was syndicated Inside Edition. Several local Fox stations got nicked too. “Good thing nothing is happening in Syria,” Kimmel snickered, noting some of the outlets that fell for the prank blamed Miley Cyrus, whose twerky performance was all the talk after the VMA’s, to the consternation of Justin Timberlake.
It seemed like just another interview with a YouTube sensation — you know, the one where the woman twerking against her bedroom door ends up on fire. But instead Jimmy Kimmel detailed how he’d pulled a fast one. That video, titled “Worst Twerk Fail EVER,” has more than 9.5 million views in less than a week, and the late-night host told his audience it was all a hoax he had masterminded. Here’s the reveal video with stuntwoman Daphne Avalon that was shown tonight on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live:
Poor Matt Damon. Damon’s tour de force one night “hosting” stint January 24th on Jimmy Kimmel Live was a real triumph, maybe the funniest and finest work by any guest on a variety (as talk shows are classified in the Emmys) series this season. Damon’s rep tells me they had been trying for a very long time to make this appearance possible and finally his schedule freed him up to do it. But as far as Emmys go, it doesn’t exist.
Of course the whole show was one big gag based on Kimmel’s long standing show biz mock hatred of Damon. He’s ended virtually every episode of his decade-old talker by saying that unfortunately the show ran out of time for Damon’s appearance. Of course Damon was never really booked and it was all an elaborate running joke but finally it paid off when Damon supposedly kidnapped Kimmel, tied him up and took over the host desk. With Kimmel, his mouth taped shut , hopelessly looking on from the background , Damon took over with a great monologue and a couch full of A-listers that included Nicole Kidman, Gary Oldman, Demi Moore, Reese Witherspoon, Amy Adams, Sarah Silverman (Kimmel’s ex), Andy Garcia, Robin Williams and others including BFF Ben Affleck.