Jay Leno is readying to exit stage left from NBC’s Tonight Show next February. So Adam Sandler was a guest Thursday and offered a little unsolicited advice about Leno’s post-Tonight plans. Of course, Sandler doesn’t mention that the problem is that Fox would have to get clearance for any late-night show from the affiliates who get to keep all the ad revenue from their late local news. Fox then might have to compensate them for any lost revenue. In other words, it’s complicated. Read the transcript after the jump: READ MORE »
Lorne Michaels Says He’s Not Leaving ‘SNL’ Anytime Soon But Stays Quiet About ‘Tonight Show’ At HRTS Lunch
“I’ll do it as long as I possibly can. I think that there will be a day when I’ll look at it and say I don’t have the edge I used to,” said Lorne Michaels today about his future at Saturday Night Live. A seasoned and cool operator, the late night executive producer of course did not say when that day might be and if it would be related to his taking over The Tonight Show next year. In fact, Michaels didn’t say a lot about the Tonight Show Tuesday at a Comedy On TV luncheon hosted by the Hollywood Radio and Television Society on Tuesday in Beverly Hills. Of course, that’s what was on everyone’s mind now that Michael’s protégé Jimmy Fallon has formally been tipped by NBC to take over the show next year. Michaels’ one Tonight Show comment was about the plan to move the show back to New York after over 40 years out in Burbank. “Jimmy’s from New York, the show appeals to New York, I think New York is different from when Carson left and New York was on its ass,” the soon-to-be Tonight Show EP remarked. Fellow Canadian and former SNL regular Martin Short moderated the sitdown with the multiple Emmy-winner and past and future ruler of late night. “It worked out that way,” Michaels joked when Short asked if he really ruled late night. Michaels’ recent appointment as the upcoming Executive Producer of The Tonight Show means he is in control of NBC’s 11:30 PM slot six of the seven nights of the week.
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.)
UPDATE, 6:33 PM: Jay Leno admitted tonight to the Tonight Show studio audience that he had a “really awkward day.” During today’s taping, the now officially departing late night host addressed NBC’s announcement that Late Night host Jimmy Fallon would be taking over the Tonight Show next year. …
David Letterman didn’t waste any time to take his digs at NBC and the official announcement that Jay Leno is leaving The Tonight Show next year to be replaced by Jimmy Fallon. “I got a call from my mom today, she says, ‘Well, David, I see you didn’t get the Tonight Show again,’ ” the CBS Late Show host said in his monologue to air tonight (see the preview below). “NBC, God bless ‘em, announced the official date for Jay Leno’s departure — no mention of his official date of return, however,” he added, alluding to the last time his longtime late-night rival was dumped from the Tonight Show for Conan O’Brien — only to return eight months later. Added Letterman: “It seems like we just went through this. Didn’t we just go through this? Jay Leno now is being replaced, and this is the second time this has happened. I mean, it’s crazy. He’s being replaced by a younger late-night talk show host — what could possibly go wrong? Honestly. They had pretty good luck with this in the past”.
As well as doing a Leno-themed Top 10 tonight, Letterman — who was passed over for the Tonight Show job in favor of Leno in 1992 and soon after departed for CBS – had more to say. From his desk tonight:
New York has made it a lot easier for The Tonight Show to return to the Big Apple. The 2013-2014 budget given final approval by the Assembly late Thursday extends the state’s Film Tax Credit program through …
Monday night Jay Leno took aim at spring breakers, exercise, President Obama’s trip to Israel, and Lindsay Lohan, twice — talk about low-hanging fruit. But after sniping at NBC for …
Ross Lincoln is a Deadline contributor.
Medient Studios, a Los Angeles-based production and distribution outfit with a presence in India, has announced plans to build a $90 million movie studio near Savannah, GA in a deal cleared this week by the Effingham County Industrial Development Authority. Although the deal may end up being good for Georgia, it comes during a precarious time for the Los Angeles-based entertainment economy — even with large-scale expansions underway at NBC Universal, Disney, and Paramount.
Despite an overall increase in movie, TV and commercial production, Los Angeles saw a steep drop in television drama and reality TV production in 2012, a problem the city has attempted to address at least partially by eliminating fees for pilot production. And places like New York, Louisiana, and Michigan as well as Georgia continue to pursue production business aggressively.
“Of course, we’d prefer these kinds of investments be made in the State of California instead of in Georgia,” FilmLA VP of Integrated Communications Philllip Sokoloski told Deadline. “Although the L.A. region has its own studio developments in progress, infrastructure development elsewhere can only intensify the competition we face for valuable film projects and jobs.”
Jay Leno keeps ‘em coming so here are tonight’s. “Doctors in Canada were shocked after pulling a three-inch knife blade from the back of a 32-year-old-man. The knife had been in there for three years! Imagine that, the guy had …
Launching into tonight’s monologue, Jay Leno continued riffing about the future of The Tonight Show. “Are you all excited about March Madness? Are you all into March Madness?” he ostensibly asked about NCAA college basketball playoffs getting underway. “People are talking about who’s in, who’s out, who’s gonna …
UPDATE: Jimmy Fallon Jokes About ‘Tonight Show’ Move, While Jay Leno Ignores Rumors But Takes Another Jab At NBC
UPDATE, 12:45 AM: Jay Leno may not have addressed rumors that he was leaving NBC‘s The Tonight Show to be replaced by Jimmy Fallon, but the Late Night host did — sort of (check out the video below). On tonight’s show, Fallon’s first monologue remarks were about changes at NBC late-night. “Before we get started, I have to talk about the rumors that came out today which say that I’ll be moving up to 11:30, or as my parents call it, ‘Umm, still too late.’ Actually the rumors are true: NBC is turning The Tonight Show into a diving competition. So exciting,” the host said.
NBC is finally confirming publicly that Jay Leno took a 50% pay cut — or $15 million on his $30 million salary. That helped NBC slash the Tonight Show‘s $100M budget by about 20%. Deadline scooped first news of Leno’s pay cut to prevent more than 20 staff layoffs on the show. Now NBC’s entertainment chief Robert Greenblatt confirms that number to the Wall Street Journal. At the same time, Leno extended his contract for another 2 years to May 2014. So much for Leno taking swipes at Comcast/NBCU over the layoffs. Greenblatt told WSJ there’s no date yet for Leno to leave. ”That’s a conversation we’ll have as we look down the road. I’m sure there will be a day when these guys — Letterman and Leno — wake up and say, ‘It’s time for us to exit gracefully.’”