The state-of-the-art studio that housed The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien is getting a new late-night occupant. E!’s Chelsea Lately will move into the space, Studio 1 on the Universal lot, later this year, probably in the fourth quarter. Stage 1, named The Jack Benny Stage, has remained largely vacant since the quick demise of The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien as Jay Leno, who was brought back as host in March 2010, opted to stay at his old stomping grounds in Burbank.
When plans were announced for O’Brien to take over The Tonight Show, NBC spent a reported $50 million to transform Stage 1 — which housed The Jack Benny Show, the first TV show shot at Universal, as well as the original Knight Rider TV series — into a lavish talk show set custom-made to accommodate comedy skits, a band, and a large studio audience. (Chelsea Lately‘s studio audience is expected to double when the show moves into the new digs.) It is also near huge parking garages and major city thoroughfares.
The announcement, made during an E! luncheon at the TCA winter press tour (sans the Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien connection), comes less than two months after Handler signed a new $25 million deal with E! to continue as host and executive producer of Chelsea … Read More »
CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman tied NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno for the second consecutive time last week after achieving the feat for the first time this season the week before. The 2 late-night shows also pulled in identical ratings in adults 18-34 and adults 25-54 last week, with Leno drawing a slightly larger overall audience, 3.6 million vs. 3.4 million for Letterman. But both were down in 18-49 from the same week last year when The Tonight Show with host Conan O’Brien and Letterman averaged a 1.0/4 in the 18-49 demo. Letterman was also down year-to-year in total viewers (14%) and adults 25-54 (14%) and even in 18-34 (0.6/2). A year ago, he got a ratings boost from the extortion plot story, which broke in early October. Leno’s total audience last week was 44% higher than Conan’s but it was also much older. In 18-34, Leno (0.6/3) was down 33% from Conan’s numbers the same week last year.
Maybe it doesn’t matter who sits in the Tonight Show chair after all. NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno posted a 1.0 rating among adults 18-49 during premiere week, matching the performance of The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien the same week last year. (In total viewers, the older-skewing Leno was up 58%). It was a close race among Leno, CBS’ Late Show with David Letterman and Nightline last week. Leno won in both total viewers (3.79 million vs. 3.78 million for Letterman) and adults 18-49, where he was tied with Nightline at a 1.0 rating, followed by Letterman with a 0.9. In actual 18-49 viewers, Letterman was virtually tied with Nightline (1.24 million vs. 1.25 million), while Leno drew 1.33 million. Letterman was down year-to-year in both total viewers (24%) and 18-49 (25%). Last year, Letterman’s average was boosted by an appearance by President Barack Obama, while this year his premiere week guest lineup featured former president Bill Clinton and actor Joaquin Phoenix.
This can be chalked up to a pure misunderstanding magnified by the power of Twitter. Deon Cole, one of the writers on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, created some shock waves online after he tweeted yesterday that the show’s writers had been informed that the writing for variety, music or comedy category won’t be televised this year. “Someone with power has kicked us in the nuts again,” he wrote. The situation got additionally heated by the fact that the Primetime Emmys air on NBC, the network that let O’Brien go. But there is no conspiracy. It is true that for the first time, the writing and directing for VMC categories will be presented at the Creative Arts Awards a week before the Primetime Emmy telecast on NBC. That is part of an agreement the TV Academy made with the WGA and DGA last summer when it announced the split of the writing and directing for VMC series or special into separate categories for series and specials. It called for the series and specials categories to alternate between the Primetime and Creative Arts ceremonies. The series categories were awarded during CBS’ Primetime Emmy telecast last year, with the specials awards given out at the Creative Emmys. This year, the roles are reversed, which I’m sure will present a challenge for the NBC telecast producer Don Mischer as the series are way better known and their writing staffs often provide funny clips to go with listing the nominees’ names. By the … Read More »
The leadership at the Academy of TV Arts and Sciences must be breathing a sigh of relief after last week’s Primetime Emmy nominations. As the awards show’s future hangs in the balance, the Academy probably couldn’t have asked for a much better list of nominees.
It offers a compelling underdog story – dismissed Tonight Show host Conan O’Brien getting 4 noms for his 7-month stint on the NBC show – as well as plenty of intrigue: will O’Brien be a presenter on the broadcast which airs on NBC, what he would say if he wins.
But most importantly, the list is brimming with big, buzzworthy shows. With the possible exception of The Big Bang Theory, which surprisingly missed the cut for best comedy series (but landed another lead actor nom for star Jim Parsons), the shows that have dominated pop culture for the past year: Glee, Lost, Modern Family, Dexter, True Blood and Mad Men, all earned best series nominations and all, with the exception of True Blood, also scored multiple acting noms. (The list of top nominees also includes the biggest reality series on TV, including American Idol and Dancing with the Stars)
I hear talks between the TV Academy and the Big 4 broadcast networks that hold the rights to the Primetime Emmy telecast have not started in earnest. The current eight-year “wheel” deal is up at the Aug. 29 telecast, which also will mark the end of the 4 networks’ exclusive … Read More »
UPDATED: A relatively self-deprecating response from Jay Leno to the 4 Emmy nominations for his interim replacement at the helm of The Tonight Show that would’ve been pretty classy had Leno at least mentioned Conan O’Brien by name.At the opening of tonight’s show, Leno said, “The Emmy nominations were announced today. The good news — Tonight Show got 4 nominations. The bad news — I didn’t get one of them.” (Leno was shut out of the race.) ”And David Letterman didn’t get nominated either. Oh man. I guess Dave and I will be watching the Emmys at Oprah’s house this year,” he said, a reference to the trio’s Super Bowl commercial.
I feel like the late-night Emmy categories featured the most intrigue this year. And not just because of the four nominations for The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, including best variety, music or comedy series and best writing for such series.
This year also marked the end of a pretty remarkable streak for David Letterman. Since 1984, going back to the first full season of his Late Night on NBC, Letterman had gotten a best VMC series AND best writing for a VMC series nominations every year, for Late Night and then The Late Show on CBS. (In 1996, the writing nom was for a Late Show special.) That is a 26-year streak that came to an end today when The Late Show with David Letterman failed to land a best VMC series or writing for a VMC series nomination.
In the best series category, Late Show was the only absentee from last year’s list, that also included Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report, HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher and NBC’s Saturday Night Live. This year, Late Show was replaced in the nominations by Conan’s Tonight Show. In the writing category, it was Real Time that “took” Late Show‘s spot from last year, while O’Brien is enjoying a nice 16-year nomination streak of his own in the category with his Late Show and now The Tonight Show. Speaking of streaks, The Daily Show is going for a 8th consecutive win in the best VMC series … Read More »