In early September, NBC News announced that Carson Daly, host of NBC‘s late-night show Last Call and the network’s primetime singing competition The Voice, would be joining Today as a daily contributor. At the same time, Last Call, renewed in April for a 13th season, was slated to begin production but it didn’t, raising speculation about the show’s future. NBC back then stressed that Daly will remain an exec producer on Last Call, which was working on a “transition” plan. That typically is a code name for a quiet cancellation but in this case, Last Call indeed started production in late September, a couple of weeks behind schedule. It quietly started airing originals the last week of October, introducing a new format that still features Daly. Because of his increased workload, he is now only doing “wraparounds,” framing each episode with an opening and a conclusion, while the artist interviews are being done by producers. After testing out the format, it seems to be working for everyone, with NBC planning to keep the show as is, at least for the next few months. (Last Call has scheduled hiatuses for the holidays and the Winter Olympics.) In addition to The Voice, Daly also hosts NBC’s annual New Year’s Eve special.
Carson Daly, longtime host of NBC‘s late-night show Last Call, and host of the network’s primetime singing competition The Voice, has joined NBC News’ Today as its “digital doorman,” he said this morning. Daly will be holed up in this Orange Room on the struggling morning infotainment show’s new set, which will be unveiled Monday. “Orange Room,” NBC said this morning, “is the nexus point between the Today audience and the show, embracing the many ways that viewers seek out and share news across all media and allowing the show and its fans to connect in a variety of new ways. In a casual, lounge-like setting, the Orange Room will also be a hub of emerging technology, equipped for everything from social media hangouts, to extended live-stream interviews with Today guests, analysis of real-time social data and reactions from the web, as well as the home for Today’s original digital franchises.” Pop quiz tomorrow.
It’s probably no coincidence NBC tossed out its latest Today show bright shiny light the same day ABC was set to issue its weekly morning infotainment-show ratings report. In the report, ABC notes that, season-to-date, GMA is seeing its largest overall season audience in more than 21 years and its best 25-54 performance in five years, and that it has had the largest overall audience among morning infotainment shows the past 55 consecutive weeks — and that GoodMorningAmerica.com on Yahoo! reached 22 million users last month, and is the No. 1 morning-news website, beating Today.com by millions of viewers each month.
UPDATE: Today’s announcement throws into question — again – the fate of Last Call. Daly’s out as host, but will remain an exec producer on the show, the network said this morning, adding that a “transition” plan would be announced “at a later date” — which industry insiders assume means “lickety split” since the show should already have gone into production for its new season. It’s not the first time Last Call has been on the block. What started as a straight talk show, morphed into a half-hour mix of interviews and pre-taped location music performances over the years as ratings declined and budgets were cut. When it debuted way back in 2002, Last Call clocked about 1.4 million viewers – 417,000 of them in the target 18-34 demo (and 850,000 of them in the 18-49 demo). It peaked in ’04 with an average audience of 1.6 million (525,000 in 18-34), but has been sliding slowly since. This season it’s averaging 875,000 viewers (149,000 in 18-34). That said, for the first 10 weeks of the third quarter, Last Call has moved ahead of CBS’s Late Late Show by a teensy margin in 18-34 (145,000 vs. 144,000).
The addition of a 13th season of NBC‘s 1:35 AM show comes amid speculation of big changes in the network’s late-night lineup that started with official word that Jimmy Fallon is taking over The Tonight Show from Jay Leno in 2014. Yesterday there were reports that NBC was in talks with Alec Baldwin about taking on the slot now occupied by Last Call With Carson Daly. That appears to be off the front burner now — at least for this year. Here’s NBC’s release:
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. — April 10, 2013 — NBC has renewed its innovative late-night series “Last Call with Carson Daly,” acclaimed as TV’s unofficial music tastemaker, for a 13th season, it was announced by Paul Telegdy, President, Alternative and Late Night Programming, NBC.
“We are thrilled to continue our relationship with Carson who has broken the mold, creating his own unique late-night show format with ‘Last Call,’“ said Telegdy. “The show has become a platform for emerging artists – and Carson’s engaging interview style has made it the place for insightful conversations with an eclectic group of new stars as well as established icons and news makers.”
It is the often-forgotten member of the NBC late-night lineup that stayed clear of the network’s recent late-night shakeups. But quietly, Last Call with Carson Daly will reach a decade on the air after NBC announced today that it is renewing the daily 1:35 AM-2:05 AM show for a 10th …