Tag Archives: David Letterman

The Late Shift, 2010 Edition

NAVA BRAHE: Sadly, I’ve had my fill of late night talk shows. Once I started watching The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report, Leno, Letterman and the rest just stopped blowing my skirt up. Not that I wear skirts much, but the ego maniacal, celebrity blow-hard hump-fest that late night television has become, has turned into a pretty big snore-fest for me.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: While I’ve never liked Leno and I’ve always been slightly afraid of Letterman, I’m a big fan of Conan O’Brien. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean much. It’s kind of like how I’m also a big fan of daschund puppies and crème Brule. I love them, sure, but I can’t remember the last time I encountered either one of them—nor can I remember the last time I watched Conan’s late night show.

EMILY SAIDEL: The televisual malaise of late-night has less to do with the personalities on the screen, and more to do with the proliferation of other sources of news, celebrities, and competition. Continue reading

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Conan to TBS

AKIE BERMISS: For me, Television fell down the day NBC let Conan O’Brien leave and gave the Tonight Show back to Jay Leno. Television is about suspending belief. In these days, when it is no longer the main thoroughfare for entertainment and information, we are really suspending belief. There’s no real compulsion to gather ’round the tv these days. We’ve got blackberries, iphones, laptops, and: cable. Television is coming up on its emeritus days. And very few things are as synonymous with television as the Tonight Show. And to me, when the Tonight Show fell down — television fell down.

ZOË RICE: With Conan O’Brien’s move to TBS, the scales may be officially tipped. As far as relevance goes, network and cable late night programming had reached something of a balance: The Tonight Show and The Late Show dominated the network market, and The Daily Show and The Colbert Report owned the basic cable share. When everyone assumed Conan would go to Fox, a new wrench was expected to disrupt the network two-party system–how fun it would be to watch Conan battle it out with Jay and Dave within the old establishment. But now, with Conan jumping ship to basic cable, the battle he enters is much broader in scope. Instead of O’Brien vs. Leno vs. Letterman, it’s going to be senior citizen network television vs. young twenty-something cable. The very nature of relevant late-night programming may shift away from the struggling networks, extinguishing one of their last holds on wit and edge. In a couple years, network late night might simply be obsolete. Continue reading

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Leno/Conan: The Last Late Night War

EMILY SAIDEL: The Leno-Conan debacle presents a soap opera whose main plot is the failed experiment of short-term planning. David Carr at the New York Times intelligently questions the continued relevancy of this television format and the changing styles of television viewing. But the core of the issue was short-sighted vision, compounded with a lack of understanding of the changing television environment.

HOWARD MEGDAL: The fascinating part of the Leno/Conan debacle, for me, is less about the serious series of miscalculations made by NBC, and more how within a few years, few people will understand at all the resonance of “The Tonight Show” at all. Continue reading

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Multipart Discourse on David Letterman

JILLIAN LOVEJOY LOWERY: Isn’t there some sort of tacit agreement that rules kind of don’t apply to celebrities, especially in matters of the heart? Couples who have been married for more than, say, five years, are applauded for their enduring commitment to one another – and we’re never really surprised when things don’t work out. Let’s face it. We kind of expect famous people to stray.

Thus, I applaud David Letterman for his genius handling of that whole messy sex-with-employees/extortion S.N.A.F.U.

HOWARD MEGDAL: The most fascinating part of the David Letterman saga, to my mind, is what happens next, given Letterman’s five-nights-a-week post on network television. This flies in the face of how nearly every successful move beyond a sex scandal has worked in the 21st century information age.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: He fought the Letterman, and the Letterman won. Continue reading

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