March 12, 2002 |
Though they are archrivals in the race for ratings supremacy, David Letterman and Jay Leno have effectively joined forces in one cause: Keeping the late-night field clear of an emerging talent who might someday replace them. The jockeying for Letterman's services, in fact, underscores not only the paucity of candidates perceived to be ready to front a late-night show but also the iron grip with which Letterman and Leno have held onto their late-night thrones in the last decade.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 21, 1994 |
The legal status of an agreement to put a lid on the "party house" has been left in limbo. The $2-million Studio City mansion, where neighbors say hundreds of people at a time pay to attend late night commercial parties, was the subject of an agreement last month between the owner and city officials, who brought suit charging the house was a public nuisance.
October 26, 1992 |
Three nights a week, in a South-Central Los Angeles park gymnasium 11 blocks from the L.A. riots' flashpoint at Florence and Normandie, Crips still shoot and Bloods shoot back. Except that at night's conclusion there are no toes to tag or funeral arrangements pending. Some said it was foolhardy to bring elements of the city's most notorious street gangs together for organized games of basketball from 8 p.m. until 2 a.m. The Six Deuce Brims thought so.
February 2, 1995 |
At first, the guys were in shock. Don Lovett, a mediator by profession, was behaving completely out of character. Week after week he had stressed to the 20 or 30 young men who play in Inglewood's Late Night Basketball program how to communicate politely with other people. But tonight he was cussing at them nonstop. Shock passed. Then the players, who come from some of Inglewood's toughest neighborhoods, started to get angry, Lovett recalled. How dare he talk to them like that.
March 17, 2010 |
Fox Broadcasting is inching closer to bringing Conan O'Brien back to late night. Key Fox executives, including Rupert Murdoch, are on board with the plan and would like to finalize a deal in coming weeks so they can make a splash on May 17 when the network unveils its fall lineup. Several significant issues remain and the Fox talks could fall apart, according to people close to the negotiations who asked anonymity because the discussions were meant to be private. But people close to O'Brien are cautiously optimistic.
May 2, 2008 |
NEW YORK -- An orderly transfer of power: Is it possible? With the presidency, sure. But what about late-night TV? Despite lots of careful preparation, the Jay Leno-Conan O'Brien handoff coming next year smacks of something from Bizarro World. Will it fly with viewers -- or crash? Can't you just feel the suspense? Maybe you've got more urgent matters to dwell on right now. Like, who wins the White House or how long Katie Couric can hang on.
December 17, 1997 |
Earvin "Magic" Johnson will attempt to score in the late-night talk-show arena when "The Magic Hour" debuts in syndication next June, Twentieth Television executives said Tuesday. But the announcement of Johnson's entry, which had been expected, threw a shroud of confusion and uncertainty over the highly competitive late-night scene, particularly with regard to the future of "The Keenen Ivory Wayans Show," which debuted last August.
February 15, 2008 |
The writers are back on late night and here's what we now know: Jon Stewart is much funnier with a script written by someone other than himself; Jay Leno may still have the chops to write amusing opening monologues on his own, but if he wants to reference events from, say, this decade, he needs a team; and Conan O'Brien should win a special strike-year medal of honor for actually obeying the Writers Guild strike rules and still remaining pretty darn funny.
October 29, 2002 |
Forget mundane skirmishes over booking guests or conceiving the best comedy bits. The late-night battle between "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" and "Late Show With David Letterman" this fall has boiled down to back-and-forth salvos of public-relations spin. Of course, the beauty of ratings is that both networks can use them to support their respective points, prompting a weekly barrage of news releases that draw different conclusions from the same set of numbers.
November 8, 1999 |
Conan O'Brien, who is tall and pale, is standing next to Sarah Michelle Gellar, who is short and at the moment very well-lit. O'Brien has arrived on the set of Gellar's hit television show, the WB's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," to ask the actress out on a date. "Did you tell security you were coming?" is how the starlet greets him, and that's pretty much the highlight of their conversation. No, she doesn't want to go to a tanning booth. Or hit the mall. Or go bowling.