Thursday February 27, 2014
Already Jimmy Fallon is delivering on all that NBC hoped for with his version of The Tonight Show.
During his debut week - where it was expected he'd draw big numbers - Fallon's Tonight logged 10.42 million viewers (including DVR recordings). That's the largest number of single week viewers since Johnny Carson's final week of shows in 1992. Carson pulled in almost double that - 19.5 million viewers.
Fallon's also logging the youngest late night audience (though you might scratch your head at the numbers). The median age for viewers during his first week was 52 years old. Compare that to Jimmy Kimmel's 54 year olds and David Letterman's 59 year olds.
Why is Fallon drawing such numbers? Beyond the newness of course? We have some thoughts, and we cover those in this month's Talk Show Perspectives: How to Win (and Lose) a Talk Show Audience.
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Low-ratings will soon bring an end to CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight. The decision was made by host Piers Morgan and Jeffrey Zucker, CNN's president, according to a New York Times report. The show will likely disappear in March.
Morgan replaced the retired Larry King and his show replaced Larry King Live. Morgan, a Brit, could never connect with American audiences, the article reports.
At this point, Morgan won't leave the network, but will instead focus on television events: interviews with big names and so forth.
The network is searching for a replacement.
Sunday February 23, 2014
Don't forget to set your DVRs (or, hey, just stay up late!) to catch the debut of Late Night with Seth Meyers.
Meyers takes over for Jimmy Fallon, who has moved back into his old studio, which is occupied by the new set for The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon.
Meyers' Late Night tapes in the same building, 30 Rockefeller Plaza. And Meyers, like Fallon, is a former Saturday Night Live cast member. In fact, there's a whole lot of SNL on late night now.
Fred Armisen joins Meyers as his band leader. Armisen is also a former SNL cast member. His first guest is Amy Poehler, another SNL alum and Meyers co-anchor on Weekend Update.
It's a homecoming of sorts for Poehler, who used to play Andy Richter's sister on Late Night with Conan O'Brien.
Tuesday February 18, 2014
Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show debut was spectacular. It had everything you could hope for. A warm welcome from Fallon and a quick overview of his CV - almost a clever way of telling new members of his television audience that he is, in fact, qualified for the job and will respect the office.
It had big, bold guests - Will Smith and U2 - both of whom wielded their star power to give Fallon that debut boost.
It also had that memorable moment folks will talk about for some time. In this case, he return of comedienne Joan Rivers.
During a sketch in which a cavalcade of stars appeared desk-side to wish Fallon well - Kim Kardashian, Stephen Colbert, Tracy Morgan, Lady Gaga - Rivers stepped out, wished Jimmy well, and waved to the audience.
And just like that, a decades-long ban from the show was lifted.
Host Johnny Carson instituted the ban back in the 1980s, when Rivers was his go-to guest host. Rivers popularity was on the rise, and in an effort to capitalize on that popularity, Fox lured Rivers to its network to host a new late night talk show. One that would compete with Carson.
As legend tells it, Carson found out through the grapevine, rather than from Rivers. Allegedly, Carson felt betrayed and cut all ties with Rivers.
When Leno took over for Carson, Rivers remained off the guest list, though it's unlikely this was because of the ban.
Now she's back. And her appearance suggests that Fallon is keen on clean the slate and starting The Tonight Show fresh. It's needed. And Fallon - who show producer Lorne Michaels equates to Carson - is quite possibly the one to make it happen.
Did you watch the premiere? What do you think?