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TCA: Leno Takes Another One On the Chin From TV’s Funny Ladies

From Ray Richmond, who is contributing to Deadline Hollywood’s TCA coverage:

It’s amazing how even when he isn’t present or even mentioned by name, any discussion of the late-night talk show landscape finds Jay Leno having to absorb a shot or two. Or three.

It happened again today during a lunchtime Funny Women of 20th comedy panel – staged as part of the TCA event on the Fox lot – that featured Jimmy Kimmel moderating a lively Q&A session with Julie Bowen and Sofia Vergara of ABC’s Modern Family, Jane Lynch and Lea Michele of Fox’s Glee, Alyson Hannigan of CBS’s How I Met Your Mother, and Martha Plimpton of Fox’s Raising Hope.

The moment in question happened toward the end of the 45-minute discussion when a question was asked about what the women saw as the trick to having a successful late-night talk show appearance. Kimmel mentioned how absurd it’s gotten with the need to be funny, that “it doesn’t matter if you bring Dr. (Jack) Kevorkian on. It’s, like, what anecdotes does he have to share with us?”

That’s when Hannigan chimed in that, well, it all really depends on the host. “Certain hosts have you do your pre-interview and then you have to go on the show and retell every story verbatim or you’re not coming back,” Hannigan said. “Every show is different that way.”

And which show is it that forced you to repeat every pre-interview anecdote verbatim? “I’m not saying,” Hannigan replied, … Read More »

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TCA: Conan No Longer Needs To Use Leno As His Whipping Post

From Ray Richmond, who is contributing to Deadline Hollywood’s TCA Coverage:
Speaking to the media en masse for the first time since landing last fall with his own late-night chatfest at TBS, Conan O’Brien expressed that he’s never been happier – so happy, in fact, that he no longer sees a need to fire shots at his longtime NBC teammate-turned-nemesis Jay Leno.

Meeting TV critics on the Warner Bros. set of his show as part of the semi-annual TCA event, Conan was asked if he ever saw any scenario where he would again speak to Leno. “No, I don’t think so,” he said. “I don’t think, I mean…there’s nothing to be figured out. We all know the story and we all know what happened. Life is short. I’ve got kids and a family and a life to live and I’m really happy here so I don’t think about it too much. And I’m sure he’s busy.”

Compare that dismissal to Conan’s reaction when it was pointed out he’d received a holiday phone call from David Letterman. “He wanted to know what I was wearing,” he quipped. “Sick man. No, it was just a quick call. We hadn’t spoken for a long time. He just called to basically say I haven’t checked in on you and just wanted to make sure we were good. I said, ‘We’ve always been good.’ I said, ‘You didn’t owe me a phone call, but I appreciate it.’ It … Read More »

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Conan Issues Apology Over Rudolph Snafu

Nellie Andreeva

Last night, we were the first to point out the striking similarities between a video on Conan last night about Sarah Palin shooting Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and a similar skit on Jimmy Kimmel Live 2 weeks ago. Now, Conan O’Brien has issued a video apology to the folks from Jimmy Kimmel:

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Conan And Kimmel With Dueling Bits On Sarah Palin Shooting Rudolph

By | Wednesday December 22, 2010 @ 10:28pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

UPDATED: It is probably best that Sarah Palin doesn’t hunt at the North Pole. Here is a Holiday-themed video from tonight’s Conan on TBS, which features a chance encounter between the former Vice Presidential candidate and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. But as a commenter pointed out, Jimmy Kimmel did a similar bit on his ABC show 2 weeks ago, on Dec. 7. (Coincidentally, that episode was rebroadcast tonight right after Conan went off the air.) This is actually Kimmel’s second Palin-killing-Rudolph skit. He first tackled the subject in December 2008 with a claymation Palin. Here are Conan and Kimmel’s clips from this month as well as Kimmel’s 2008 video:

Read More »

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George Lopez To Run For Mayor Of LA?

By | Tuesday December 21, 2010 @ 1:08pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

UPDATE: The jig is up: reps for George Lopez confirmed this was a shtick and Lopez is not seriously considering running for Mayor.

PREVIOUS: Comedian and late-night talk show host George Lopez talked about his political aspirations on Fox11′s Good Day LA this morning. “I intend to run for Mayor of Los Angeles… in 8 years… I want to be Mayor of Los Angeles. If Arnold Schwarzenegger can be governor, why can’t George Lopez be the mayor of Los Angeles.”  Jokes involving President Barack Obama and change ensue. Here is the clip:

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Jimmy Kimmel Signs New Two-Year Deal With ABC For ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’

By | Monday December 13, 2010 @ 2:27pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Jimmy Kimmel has signed a new two-year extension with ABC to continue as the host/executive producer of the network’s late-night show Jimmy Kimmel Live!, which will continue to air at 12:05 AM for the time being. The new deal will take the show into its 10th season. Kimmel’s current pact was up next month. During this past November sweep, Jimmy Kimmel Live posted year-to-year increases in both total viewers and adults 18-49, growing its audience for the 4th time in the past 5 years.  In total viewers Kimmel (1.86 million) outdelivered Jimmy Fallon (1.79 million) or CBS’ Craig Ferguson (1.79 million). The best news about the renewal – Kimmel can continue to be a fixture at ABC’s May upfront presentation in New York.

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It’s Official: ‘Conan’ Topped All Late-Night Shows In Its First Week

Nellie Andreeva

It was widely expected but, since the weekly numbers for the broadcast late-night shows are not released until the following Thursday, Conan O’Brien’s weekly victory did not become official until today. For his first week on TBS, Conan drew a 1.6 rating among adults 18-49 vs. a 0.9 for Letterman and Leno, who were tied for a second straight week. Leno also tied the demo performance of The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien the same week last year. In his current second week, Conan has been averaging a 1.0-1.1 demo rating, so he will probably once again top his broadcast rivals for the weekly victory.

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Conan Blimp Flies Over ‘The Tonight Show’

By | Monday November 15, 2010 @ 5:15pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

The orange blimp promoting Conan O’Brien’s new late-night show on TBS hovered over Conan’s former stomping grounds at NBC Universal this afternoon. Here is a photo capturing the blimp as it flies above Burbank and Universal. Sources say the blimp was visible from the NBCU offices as well as the Burbank set where The Tonight Show with Jay Leno is taping. Conan goes against Leno and the rest of his late-night rivals tonight when he will kick in his second week on TBS.

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LATENIGHT RAT RACE: Conan Slides Again on Thursday; His First Week Tally Still Solid

Nellie Andreeva

Conan just wrapped his first week on TBS slightly above projections, with an average of 2.9 million total viewers, 2.2 million adults 18-49 and 1.5 million adults 18-34. His median age was 32, way younger than his latenight counterparts. “We couldn’t be happier with the great response from Conan’s fans,” said TNT and TBS’ EVP Michael Wright. “Conan is a big hit among young viewers, with a median age that is more than two decades younger than the show’s rivals on broadcast.”

Young demos have been Conan’s strength. Following his big Monday debut that attracted 4.2 million viewers – beating all latenight shows, broadcast and cable – he quickly … Read More »

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LATE NIGHT RATE RACE: Leno Takes Weekly Lead Over Letterman While Conan Stabilizes

Nellie Andreeva

After David Letterman in the last week of October posted his first demo win over Leno since Leno’s return to The Tonight Show, Leno bounced back to reclaim the lead in both 18-49 and total viewers for the first week of November. This marks Leno’s first solo first-place finish at the top of the 18-49 rankings in 5 weeks, as Leno and Letterman were tied for 3 weeks before Letterman won outright the week before last. In 18-49, Leno averaged a 1.0 rating vs. a 0.9 for Letterman. The same week last year, Letterman and The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien were tied at 0.9. (In 18-49 viewers, Leno’s average was 1.26 million vs. 1.21 million for Conan last fall; Letterman’s was 1.20 million vs. 1.22 million last year.) The two may switch places again this week as Letterman dominated Leno on Monday night. Among total viewers, Leno averaged 3.9 million for the week, up from 2.3 million for Conan last fall; Letterman drew 3.7 million vs. 3.9 million last year. As for the third airing of Conan’s new latenight show on TBS, his ratings drops were far more moderate than the 33-42% between the premiere and night 2. Last night, Conan drew 2.7 million viewers, down only 3% from the night before. His 18-49 audience was 1.9 million, down 13%. In 18-34,he averaged  1.15 million, down 19%. Here are the averages for the broadcast latenight shows during the week of Nov. 1-5: Read More »

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‘Conan’ Ratings Drop 30% In Second Airing

Nellie Andreeva

UPDATE 9:45AM: The fast nationals for Conan’s second show on TBS are in. It drew 2.8 million viewers, down 33% from its premiere audience and lower than its broadcast counterparts. Despite the decline, Conan is expected to once again dominate the young demos with 2.1 million viewers in 18-49 (down 35%) and 1.4 million in 18-34 (down 42%). Its median age stayed steady at around 30, probably still the youngest in latenight.

PREVIOUS 7:30AM: A ratings dropoff after the big Monday night premiere of Conan was inevitable: the question was how steep it was going to be. In the metered markets, the TBS show posted a 2.1 rating last night (when adjusted for Mountain time zone), down 28% from the premiere, which beat all latenight shows. Last night, Letterman drew a 3.0/8, Leno 2.5/7, and Nightline 3.2. More data will be available soon.

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Tom Hanks Makes Big Splash On ‘Conan’

By | Tuesday November 9, 2010 @ 7:34pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Tom Hanks was a frequent guest on Conan O’Brien’s late night shows on NBC and also appeared on Conan’s final Tonight Show,. Tonight, he experienced some second-hand Splash experience on Conan’s new TBS show. (Recall that mermaid he starred in?) Here are the opening jokes from Conan’s monologue, both about his new network. “That’s right – the whitest man in show business is back — on the second blackest channel on TV…. You know what’s great? Now that we’re on the air, TBS can finally stop running promos for our show. Unfortunately, that leaves an 18-hour hole in their schedule.”

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UPDATE: 4.2 Million Watch Conan’s Debut Which Beats Leno, Letterman, Stewart & Colbert

Nellie Andreeva

2ND UPDATE: It was a great opening for Conan O’Brien on TBS last night. The comedian’s eponymous talk show drew big 4.2 million viewers and massive 3.3 million adults 18-49 and 2.5 million in 18-34 to rank as the top-rated latenight show on TV – broadcast or cable – last night. This was an impressive 2/3+ of the audience he attracted for his debut on NBC’s The Tonight Show in May 2009. Conan ranked as the No.1 latenight talk show telecast of all time on basic cable, beating The Daily Show‘s Oct. 29, 2008 edition. It also topped all other latenight telecasts in basic cable history. The show’s median age was also impressive: 30, the lowest among all latenight shows and half of that for the big broadcast latenight franchises.

Conan towered over its direct competition, Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (1.3 million; 690,000 in 18-49) and The Colbert Report (1 million; 550,000 in 18-49) and also beat its broadcast counterparts, Leno (3.5 million, 952,000 in 18-49) and Letterman (3.4 million; 1.3 million in 18-49). While Leno and Letterman are not direct competitors as their airtime is shifted by a half-hour, beating soundly The Tonight Show must have been gratifying for Conan following his dismissal from the show 9 months ago. Despite having direct latenight show competition for the first time, The Daily Show was pretty resilient in total viewers, down a modest 13% from its season-to-date Monday viewer average. The hit was bigger in the 18-49 demographic, 21%. Colbert at 11:30 PM followed a similar pattern (down 12% in total viewers, 25% in 18-49 from its season average.) Stewart opened his show by congratulating O’Brien on his return to TV until he “realized” Conan was airing opposite him. (video below the chart.) Read More »

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Conan’s Monologue & Cold Open On TBS

Nellie Andreeva

What Ratings Will Make ‘Conan’ A Success?

Here is a transcript of Conan O’Brien’s opening monologue as well as the opening video at tonight’s premiere of his late-night show on TBS.  The clip features dramatizations of Conan’s telling NBC brass to “go to hell” for trying to move him to 12:05 AM and of him taking TBS’ offer for “much less” as well as a Godfather spoof and scenes with Jon Hamm as  Don Draper from Mad Men and Larry King as Conan’s guardian angel.

Thank you.  Thank you and welcome to my 2nd Annual first show.

Yes, I know what you guys are thinking, “Hey, it’s the guy from Twitter.”

Welcome to my new show, “Conan.”  People ask me why I named the show “Conan.”  I did it so I’d be harder to replace.

This is an exciting night.  I’m glad to be on cable.  The truth is, I’ve dreamed of being a talk show host on basic cable ever since I was 46.

And things are going well already.  I’m happy to report that we’re already #1 in TBS’s key demographic — people who can’t afford HBO.

I’m going to be honest:  It’s not easy doing a late-night show on a channel without a lot of money and that viewers have trouble finding.  So that’s why I left NBC.

But the weird thing is this:  I put myself and my staff through a lot because I refused

Read More »

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Fans Start Camping Out For Conan Launch

Team Coco says 5 of “our most die-hardest-ever fans” are already camped out for standby tickets on Forest Lawn Drive outside the Warner Brothers lot in advance of Conan O’Bren coming back to late night television Monday at 11 PM ET/PT. “We popped over and took them some soda, granola bars, and these crazy giant TBS buttons that *laugh* when you squeeze them.” You’d think the TBS publicists could have at least collected a crowd:

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‘Daily Show’ Tops All Late-Night Shows For First Time … Sort Of

Nellie Andreeva

UPDATE 1 PM: The Daily Show‘s monthly average only includes original telecasts as is the practice in cable. Meanwhile, the averages for the broadcast late night shows include all telecasts, original and repeats. Both Letterman and Leno had one dark week in October. Still pretty impressive result for The Daily Show but it is fair to compare apples to apples.

PREVIOUS: This is a major achievement for Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and possibly an indication of a sea change in latenight that has been brewing for awhile as younger viewers have been gradually migrating from broadcast to cable. Traditionally dominant among young men and adults 18-34, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart finished the month of October as the No. late night talk show in the big boys’ demo of Adults 18-49. This is the first time that any late night talk show other than The Tonight Show or Late Night with David Letterman has claimed the top spot in the key demographic. Of course, Daily Show‘s October numbers got a boost from the show’s coverage tied to the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear last weekend and all the publicity surrounding the event. But with broadcast latenight shows’ audiences aging along with their hosts, they have been consistently losing ground to hipper upstarts such as Comedy Central’s The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Things will get even more interesting next week when Conan O’Brien enters the fray on TBS. The bar for him is not very high as the show he will replace in the 11 PM hour on TBS, Lopez Tonight, is currently the lowest-rated latenight show on any network. Here are all entertainment late night shows’ 18-49 rankings for October:

Read More »

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Conan O’Brien Shows Up On George Lopez

By | Thursday November 4, 2010 @ 6:51am PDT

Conan made his first television appearance last night – a “surprise” visit to Lopez Tonight in advance of the Monday launch of new TBS late-night show.

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Conan O’Brien Debuts ‘Show Zero’

Nellie Andreeva

Here is Conan O’Brien’s sneak peak at his new talk show at TBS aka Show Zero, which he did online last night. Judging by the 5-minute preview, the new show will be a lot like any other late-night talk shows, with a monologue, celebrity and musical guests. Hopefully there will be some tweaks to the stodgy format or at least more of the jokes/guests and less of the intrusive Diet Coke plugs that take up most of the time in the Show Zero video.

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