2ND UPDATE: Jay Leno, David Letterman, and Jimmy Fallon are in repeats tonight. But Conan O’Brien‘s show is original and Boston is his hometown so he comments on today’s bombings (below). So does Jimmy Kimmel (below). Also Craig Ferguson (video below) who notes during his cold open that, when he became an American citizen in 2008, he spoke at Faneuil Hall on July 4th at the invitation of Boston Mayor Tommy Menino:
CONAN O’BRIEN: We have a great show for you tonight. But first, I have to mention what an upsetting and sad day it’s been. Boston is my hometown – it’s where I grew up, and it’s where my family lives. So I just wanted to take a moment to say that – like everyone here – my thoughts and prayers are with the people of Boston and everyone who has been affected by this senseless act. That said — it is our job to do a show. We’re going to try and entertain you the best we can. Which, given our track record, gives you people a 20% chance of having a good time tonight.
JIMMY KIMMEL: Well – it was a terrible day. Very bad things happened today for no good reason – and our thoughts are with the people of Boston and everyone who is suffering as a result of the bombings at the marathon. It’s a disgusting thing. I don’t understand it. But my job is to make you laugh and so I will try to do that. And – I will probably fail. I’m failing already.
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.) Read More »
On his show following the Oscars last night, Jimmy Kimmel debuted the sequel trailer to the Movie: The Movie trailer from last year’s post-Oscar show on ABC. Kimmel’s BFF Oprah Winfrey plays the U.S. president in the 7-minute skit, which also features Channing Tatum, Rachel Weisz, Samuel L. Jackson, Bradley Cooper, Bryan Cranston, Salma Hayek, Gerard Butler, John Krasinski, Kerry Washington, Matt Damon and Bruno Mars. Read More »
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
Jimmy Kimmel today downplayed the high ratings his show has enjoyed in its new 11:35 PM time slot. “The first week doesn’t mean anything,” he said during a TCA session at the Jimmy Kimmel Live studio in Hollywood. “It would mean something if we did poorly.” Today’s panel came after Kimmel topped new time-slot rivals Jay Leno and David Letterman in the 18-49 demo last night, when the show set a new ratings high in its third night of head-to-head competition with The Tonight Show and Late Night. “It was just one night”, he told critics. Kimmel also said Letterman called to wish him well — the day before the show’s debut, which beat his longtime hero in the demo. “I’m not killing Dave”, Kimmel insisted. “We did not put a dent in his numbers. I don’t think it will hurt him.” Kimmel said he has not heard from another new rival, TBS’ host Conan O’Brien. “I don’t know him,” Kimmel said today. “I’m a fan of his. I think he’s a very funny guy.”
Kimmel said he was “happy for 10 years” in his old slot and “it’s better to be a newcomer than an old timer.” He said that he ultimately expects to be “the No. 3 show in late-night” because The Tonight Show and Letterman have such long histories. “We’ll be very happy with No. 3.” He added that no one would ever take the late night crown from Johnny Carson. Read More »
Who knew the Emmys might have such an impact on the Oscars? The newly minted Oscar producing team of Craig Zadan and Neil Meronactually spent the entire weekend following Emmy producer Don Mischer (who also produced the Oscars the past two years and will direct this year). The Oscar team told me they spent all day Saturday and Sunday in the booth watching how the big TV show came together to get a few helpful tips. This particular Emmy show and the Oscars both air on ABC. ”We’ve been shadowing Don Mischer all weekend to get an idea of how it is done,” Zadan told me at the Emmy Governors Ball. “We’re already having a ball doing the Oscars. We have ideas that have never been done before.” Meron assures they are actively beginning the Oscar process and hope to have a host in place sooner rather than later. Zadan says a host is key and sooner is better.
For his part Mischer, who produced and directed the Oscarcast for the past two years, does not want to be part of the producing team this year. “After last year I promised my wife I wouldn’t do it again,” he says. “‘But I am happy to come back and direct. That way I will actually get my holidays. And Craig and Neil have wanted to do this for several years. They are consummate showmen.”
Mischer told me the reason the Emmy show seemed rushed at the end last was because he had to have it over by no later than 8 PM PT because the West Coast replay began then — if it was a few minutes late people tuning in might think they missed something watching the end rather than the beginning. He said the biggest West Coast audience by far watches the show at the 8 PM rerun rather than live at 5. But Mischer, a true veteran of the live awards show wars, regretted having to cut off winners in their acceptance speeches. Among those who got the hook were the Drama Series Writing winners for Homeland and Miniseries/Movie Supporting Actor winner Tom Berenger. But it was the very big final award for Best Comedy Series to Modern Family that really made Mischer feel bad: Presenter Michael J. Fox received an elongated standing ovation (the only one of the evening it turns out) when he was introduced and that took up precious time that cut into executive produer Steve Levitan’s speech. Mischer said he had no choice but to cut him off with almost zero seconds to spare until 8 PM. ABC was telling him in one ear they had to get off the air but he didn’t want to stop Levitan. At the Governors Ball, Mishcher apologized to Levitan who said he understood the timing problem — even though ironically Modern Family was Emmy network ABC’s big win this year. In fact, it was the biggest win for any broadcast network on the cable-centric Emmycast.
In an election year, political shows were big winners at an Emmys ceremony that featured plenty of comments onstage and backstage. HBO’s 2008 election drama Game Change and Showtime’s Washington spy thriller series Homeland swept the longform and drama series categories, respectively. Game Change, about Sarah Palin’s Vice Presidential run, won four Emmys including best miniseries or TV movie, while newcomer Homeland denied Mad Men a historical fifth consecutive win by garnering outstanding drama series. “This isn’t as much about Sarah Palin as the political process,” said Game Change’s Julianne Moore backstage after her outstanding actress in a miniseries or TV movie win for portraying Palin. “In an election year, this was an examination of how we pick our leaders. That to me was what was so compelling about this film.”
The 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards by the Academy Of Television Arts & Sciences began from the Nokia Theatre in Downtown LA at 5 PM PT today… Come for the cynicism… Stay for the subversion… Add your comment… Check out all … Read More »
UPDATED: His lord and master Comcast EVP and NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke happened to be in town early this week. So Jay Leno made the most of it. For two nights in a row the late night host opened his Burbank monologue by slapping Comcast for ordering layoffs and pay cuts on The Tonight Show. “Or, as we call it, Survivor Comcast,” Leno said on Tuesday’s broadcast, adding ”NBC now stands for Nothing But Cutbacks.” Leno also came out swinging on Monday’s show saying, “Comcast calls us The Expendables… We’ve consistently been #1 in the ratings and, if you know anything about our network, that kind of thing is frowned upon.” Ouch! - because those are the same jokes Leno used to tell about his GE bosses. Then again, Jay is prone to whining on air.
Neither Leno nor David Letterman during their monologues took any notice of Tuesday’s big announcement that ABC’s midnight host Jimmy Kimmel will move his show to 11:35 PM on January 8th. No jokes, no mentions, no nuthin’. Hey, why give Jimmy any advance publicity before they all go head-to-head-to-head in late night?
As for Kimmel, he joked during his monologue that the news about his move was “almost as exciting as Miley Cyrus’ new haircut”. He also said:
“It was a big day for us here today. You may have heard about this – or maybe not. ABC our network announced today that, starting in January – right around our 10-year anniversary – our show is moving from midnight to 11:35. I hope this doesn’t throw off my feeding schedule
Moving from midnight to 11:35 might not sound like a big deal – it’s only 25 minutes – but it’s probably the most important 25 minutes of my life since the first 14 times I had sex.
So to all those people who’ve been telling me “your show is on too late for me” – you’re going to need a new excuse. Like “your show sucks”.
When the 64th annual Primetime Emmy Awards are handed out Sept. 23 at L.A. Live’s Nokia Theater (and telecast live on ABC), Jimmy Kimmel will be the man on the hot seat in his first Emmy hosting gig. But after presiding over the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in April and emerging unscathed, Kimmel suddenly looks positively bulletproof. Not that he necessarily sees it that way. He spoke to AwardsLine about the Emmys, the late-night wars, the competition, and a certain business venture he’s got an eye on.
AwardsLine:So it seems as if after 9½ years hosting Jimmy Kimmel Live, you’ve got the job at this point. What lessons have you learned after nearly a decade in late night?
Jimmy Kimmel: Oh about a million of ’em, big ones and little ones. I think the most important lesson is that you have to look at this as a long-term thing. And every show matters. You might not make the impact you’d like to with one thing that you’re proud of, but it all adds up. And people notice consistency.
AwardsLine: Do you find that you’re more relaxed on the air now?
Kimmel: Yeah, definitely. I think that part of it is, a lot of the guests didn’t know who I was or what I was doing there at the beginning. It made me feel very insecure and like I had to prove something to them in each interview. That part has changed. It’s just like being in high school, really. Your first year you’re terrified, you’re scared on the bus, and by year four you’re sneaking up behind the chemistry teacher and giving him a wedgie. Read More »
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
Jimmy Kimmel, flanked by Primetime Emmy exec producer Don Mischer and TV Academy chairman and CEO Bruce Rosenblum, says he has the modest goal as this year’s awards show host of simply not disappearing from the telecast for lengthy periods of time. ”I’d like to be part of the show throughout”, he said this afternoon during a TCA panel on the September show. “It would be nice to be able to comment on things as they’re happening. Hopefully I’ll be able to insert myself in the entirety of the broadcast”. That was as close as anyone came to divulging specifics, other than expressing that it would be much easier to put on an entertaining telecast if they didn’t have to hand out a whopping 26 awards. “We want to keep the show really fast-paced and really funny”, Mischer expressed. Kimmel joked that the most economical way to meet that objective would be to “load all of the awards into a t-shirt cannon and fire them into the audience”. But Kimmel expressed that he isn’t feeling any nerves in anticipation of his first Emmy hosting gig — certainly not as many as he felt prior to his April gig fronting the White House Correspondents Dinner in Washington, D.C, in April. “I think I’m more comfortable in front of an audience of shallow Hollywood stars”, he concluded.
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage
Jimmy Kimmelonly found out yesterday afternoon that he’d have to get out of bed at an ungodly hour this morning to announce the Primetime Emmy nominations along with Kerry Washington of ABC’s Scandal, subbing for stranded Parks And Recreation co-star Nick Offerman. But Kimmel’s predawn trip to the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in North Hollywood — appropriately enough, in his pajamas — turned out to be well worth his while: His ABC late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live received its first nomination in the Outstanding Variety Series category on its 10th try. As Washington read the best variety series nominees, Kimmel appeared surprised. “Should I give a speech now or what?” he asked.
The speech can wait until September 23, when Kimmel will be hosting the Emmys live on ABC from the Nokia Theatre at LA Live. The man is clearly on a hot streak, even if he dressed for nominations announcement duty in something he described as being from “the husky baby collection.” After years of flying mostly under the radar with his late-night show known mostly for its viral celebrity-driven videos (it won the Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics category in 2008 for the “I’m F**king Matt Damon” ditty), JKL seems to be hitting its stride, posting significant ratings growth this past season and getting boosts from Kimmel’s post-Oscars and pre-NBA Finals stints. Read More »
I wouldn’t say there were a lot of surprises on this morning’s Emmy nominations list, although the comedy series categories offered a lot of fresh meat for the awards show. That is mostly supplied by HBO, which came roaring back in series competition garnering three of the six nods for comedy series – Curb Your Enthusiasm, Girls, and Veep for HBO joining ABC’s Modern Family, NBC’s 30 Rock, and CBS’ The Big Bang Theory – and two of the six for drama series with repeaters Game Of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire. That’s nearly half the complete combined total in those two areas. Don’t expect it to win any of them, though, with Outstanding Comedy Series likely going predictably to favored Modern Familyfor a third year in a row and Outstanding Drama Series likely going again to Mad Men, which had a sensational fifth season and which co-led the field of nominees with 17 mentions (tying Movie/Mini-Series contender American Horror Story).
Showtime’s Homeland, a critical favorite, could sweep in and upset Mad Men’s attempt to break a record for most Drama Series wins with five in a row. PBS’ switch of Downton Abbeyfrom its winning perch as last year’s best Movie/Mini (see separate analysis here) to the Drama Series category is the great unknown here. The Academy’s continuing love affair with anything and everything British could provide trouble for Mad Men’s quest and steal it all too. Although this was the most predictable category in terms of nominations, it may turn out to be the least predictable in terms of a winner. A close contest could actually provide room for a real upset here — maybe AMC’s hugely deserving Breaking Bad breaking good with a first-time win in the top category? Just sayin’. It had an amazing fourth season and is back in the Emmy competition with its most nominations ever at 13 after being off the air and on the Emmy bench last year due to eligibility dates. Its star Bryan Cranston should easily be the favorite for Lead Actor in a Drama Series, which would be his fourth win since no actor from Mad Men ever seems to win anything. That includes star Jon Hamm, who apparently makes it look all too easy for Academy voters in the actors branch. Read More »
Jimmy Kimmel, host of the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards, is stepping in for Nick Offerman at tomorrow morning’s nominations announcement with Kerry Washington and TV Academy Chairman Bruce Rosenblum. Offerman was unable to make it because … Read More »
Nominations for the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards will be announced Thursday morning at the TV Academy headquarters in North Hollywood. The awards will be handed out September 23 at the Nokia Theatre LA Live and air live on ABC with Jimmy Kimmel hosting. … Read More »
On the heels of beating Jay Leno for the first time in-season last week and marking his 10th anniversary in late-night, Jimmy Kimmel returned to headline ABC’s upfront presentation today older if not wiser. Kimmel was introduced by a video featuring celebrities congratulating him on his anniversary, including Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, stars of ABC series and the Kardashian sisters. Kimmel started off by thanking the Kardashians for taking time “from their busy schedule of having sex with the Minnesota Timberwolves.”
Kimmel skewered ABC entertainment president Paul Lee for putting panned cross-dressing comedy Work It on the air last season. “Remember last year that show Work It? You know we were kidding, right? The fact that Paul Lee greenlit that should tell you everything you need to know about what Brits think about us.”
On ABC shows: “Dancing With The Stars is still going strong-ish. Last night I was watching the show, fell asleep fell off the couch and hit my head on the floor. And for the first time this season, I actually saw stars.” On ABC’s upcoming all-stars edition of Dancing: “Dancing With The Stars All Stars — how many times can we lie to you in a single title.” Also, “The upcoming Duets is unlike any other singing competition show… assuming you haven’t seen any other singing competition show.”