Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Viacom/Time Warner feud may block Stewart and Colbert

Fans of "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report" on Television Without Pity message boards are up in arms over the prospect of no Comedy Central after Jan. 1. This Bloomberg story reports that Viacom is trying to get increased affiliate fees for its Comedy Central network, along with Nickelodeon, MTV and others, and Time Warner Cable is balking. Viacom is "clearly desperate to make up for sagging ratings and sagging ad revenue on the backs of Time Warner Cable customers," a TWC spokesman told Bloomberg. Viacom has threatened to pull its programming if no agreement is reached.

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert will be back on the air Jan. 5 after a long winter break.

What to watch on New Year's Eve

So you're staying home on New Year's Eve. Don't worry, there are plenty of entertainment choices for you:

NBC: "New Year's Eve with Carson Daly" starts early at 10 PM, and then returns after the local news at 11:30 PM. The late show will be in high definition (yay!). Carson's guests include 50 Cent, Katy Perry and Ludacris, along with Saturday "Today" co-anchor Amy Robach giving live reports from Times Square, and NBC News correspondent Luke Russert. If you can't get enough Carson, an October rerun with guests Rich Eisen, Bobb'e J. Thompson and The Knux will air in Daly's regular 1:35 AM time slot.

ABC: "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve With Ryan Seacrest 2009" also begins at 10 PM. Along with hosts Clark and Seacrest, there will be performances by Taylor Swift, the Jonas Brothers, Natasha Bedingfield, Fall Out Boy, Jesse McCartney, Ne-Yo, Pussycat Dolls, Solange, Lionel Richie and Robin Thicke. Black Eyed Pea Fergie will be the show's Hollywood correspondent.

FOX: Tired of Times Square? Check out "New Year's Eve Live" (11 PM), a Las Vegas-based show featuring Daughtry, "American Idol" David Cook, Scott Weiland and Lynyrd Skynyrd, along with stunts by daredevil Robbie Knievel. The show will be hosted by Spike Feresten and Mark Thompson, with special correspondent Chrissy Russo. The broadcast will include behind-the-scenes looks at three Cirque du Soleil Vegas extravaganzas: "Zumanity," "The Beatles LOVE" and "Criss Angel: Believe."

ESPN: And now for something completely different: "Red Bull: New Year. No Limits," in which Rhys Millen will attempt to backflip an off-road truck. The show will begin after the Chick-Fil-A Bowl (approximately 11 PM).

MTV: "A Miley New Year's Eve" at 10 PM features the tween superstar along with The Veronicas, All Time Low, The Academy Is and Kevin Rudolph.

Disney Channel: If your parents will let you stay up late, "Totally New Year" will be hosted by "Wizards of Waverly Place" cast members. The show runs from 5 PM (!) to midnight.

CNN: "Anderson Cooper 360" will ring in the new year at 11 PM with Kathy Griffin and correspondents all over the world.

PBS: "Live from Lincoln Center" (check local listings) has Lorin Maazel and the New York Philharmonic with mezzo-soprano Susan Graham.

FOX News Channel: UParty 2008, with hosts Bill Hemmer and Megyn Kelly live from Times Square, kicks off at 10 PM. They promise an "interactive broadcast" with opportunities for viewers to send theier own text messages.

If you flip over to CBS, don't expect David Letterman to be wishing you a happy new year; Dave is probably at his villa in St. Barts. The network will be airing a November rerun with Emma Thompson and Prince tribute band Purple Reign.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Win tickets to Conan's last New York shows

Friday, Feb. 20 will be the date of Conan O'Brien's final broadcast from his New York studio. NBC has set up a special email address to give away tickets to the last few tapings.

"Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" debuts on March 2, 2009. (That's just 63 days, 19 hours, 41 minutes and 27 seconds from now, according to the countdown widget on Jimmy's web site.) Conan, who is heading to L.A., will take the reins of "The Tonight Show" on June 1.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Regis and Kelly in high definition

This blog will not rest until all talk shows are broadcast in HDTV. Standard definition -- it's so 20th century!

One more talk show will join the HD roster in 2009: "Live with Regis and Kelly," which is giving away an SUV to celebrate its move to high def on Jan. 5. I had the good fortune to meet Reege at a TV taping a few years back, in the pre-HD days, and the man was wearing a lot of makeup. I suspect the artists at "R&K" will be working overtime to make the man look good for the unforgiving HD cameras.

Now that syndicated shows like "Regis and Kelly," "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" and "Oprah" have moved or are moving into HD (here's an article about the numerous complications that entails), it's certainly past time for network shows like "Jimmy Kimmel Live" and "Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" to go high def. Because they look crummy.

I've heard that Comedy Central is planning to launch an HD channel next month -- you can see the logo on this page -- but no word on whether or not Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert will make the leap into high def.

This entry was edited, because I had said Regis's game show "Million Dollar Password" was in high definition. That was incorrect; it's in standard def.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Watch talk shows online, Part 2

If you're bored after the holidays, what better way to spend a few hours than by watching TV online? Here is Part 2 (Part 1 is here) of my guide to talk shows on the Internet:

"The View": Video page offers segments, not full episodes. There's also lots to "View" on YouTube.

"Live with Regis and Kelly": Video page has highlights of recent episodes, sorted into categories so you can find the most popular clips, like the Halloween episode or the Relly Awards.

"The Ellen DeGeneres Show": Video Gallery with excerpts, as well as behind the scenes clips and web exclusives.

"Chelsea Lately": Where's the love for Chelsea? E!'s video page currently has clips from "The Soup" and "The Girls Next Door," but none from Ms. Handler. There are a few clips available on the "Chelsea Lately" page, but the player is buggy (at least in Firefox, my browser of choice) and the link to "More Video" was a dead end: "Sorry, the page you requested is not available." Head over to Hulu.com instead for your Chelsea fix; there are clips aplenty, but unfortunately, no full episodes.

"The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos": The hard part is spelling it, so luckily, the Canadian chat show's YouTube channel is just called "The Hour." There are hundreds of segments available -- some of the most popular feature the band Rush, Will Ferrell, Alice Cooper, Lewis Black and Tom Cruise. CBC publicist Julie Booth says that "The Hour"'s YouTube channel ranks as one of the Top 100 YouTube channels in the world, and recently surpassed 12.5 million views.

"The Bonnie Hunt Show": No full episodes, but there are lots of clips on the show's video page (along with a search engine to help you find them), and some very brief bits on FunnyorDie.com.

"The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet": Video page offers segments divided into categories like "Celebs," "Love" and "Life & Style."

Monday, December 22, 2008

Coming in March: Craig Ferguson DVD

It's not ready for Christmas giving, but perhaps the Craig Ferguson fan in your life would enjoy a gift certificate entitling them to a copy of "A Wee Bit o' Revolution," a stand-up comedy DVD the late night host taped at Boston's Wilbur Theater in October 2008. The DVD will be released on March 24, 2009.

Craig will also be one of the celebrity guests on CBS' "Million Dollar Password" on Jan. 4. Hopefully, Craig will do a better job than "The Amazing Race" host Phil Keoghan did last night. (Talk Show News favorite and frequent late night guest Adam Carolla will appear on next Sunday's episode of "Password," something for your family to enjoy if you're suffering from Rerun Fatigue.)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Watch talk shows online, Part 1

For proof that I've been at this for a looong time, you need look no further than my FAQ. I don't update it as often as I should and I noticed that one of the entries is seriously out of date: "How can I get a recording of a recent late night show?" I suggested people check out the USENET group alt.video.tape-trading. Video tapes -- how quaint!

Yes, not too long ago, if you found out too late that your favorite star had appeared on "Letterman," you were out of luck, unless of course that episode was repeated a few weeks later. I used to field a lot of email from people who were distraught that they'd missed a particular appearance, but today, thanks to streaming video, those queries have pretty much dried up completely.

As a handy guide (and fun holiday time-killer), here's where you can watch late night shows online:

"Late Show with David Letterman": Full Episode Viewer
"Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson": Full episodes are available on the show's web site.
Note that CBS also posts clips of their shows on YouTube, so if you just want to share your favorite Craig Ferguson monologue, you'll probably find it there.

"Tonight Show with Jay Leno" Video Library and Full Episode Viewer
"Late Night with Conan O'Brien" Video Library and Full Episode Viewer
"Last Call with Carson Daly" Video Library. Full episodes aren't available.
Jay and Conan are also available on Hulu.com's talk show channel.

"Jimmy Kimmel Live" episodes and music performances can be viewed at the show's web site.

"The Daily Show": Click on "Full Episode Viewer," or find clips with the site's search engine.
"The Colbert Report" web site has a Full Episode Viewer and a search engine.
TDS and TCR are also available on Hulu.com's talk show channel.

"Tavis Smiley": Video page

We'll have more links for you next week. If any of these links change, please let us know at loudfan (at) gmail.com -- thanks!

Also, a reader asked me to link to the "Late Show with David Letterman" Facebook group, so if you're a fan of Dave and want to connect with others, check it out!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

When news breaks...

On Dec. 11, "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" signed off for the last time in 2008. They'll return again on Jan. 5. After nearly nonstop "Decision '08" coverage, no one can argue that the show's hard-working staff doesn't deserve a break.

But why is it that every time TDS goes on vacation, something that you just know would be hilarious fodder for the show seems to happen? I'm sure that TDS fans everywhere are lamenting the fact that the Bush shoe-throwing incident took place just three days after the show's hiatus began. Other late night comics have been having a field day with it. Stewart and his writers would probably also have a lot to say about the Madoff Ponzi scheme. By the time January rolls around, though, they'll be old news.

The president and the shoe will now join the Sen. Larry Craig scandal, the Scooter Libby pardon and Alberto Gonzales's resignation in the pantheon of TDS-worthy news events that happened during vacation periods.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

When will late night go all-HD?

Flip around the dial after midnight, and you'll see "Late Show with David Letterman" and "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" in glorious high definition. Then switch over to ABC, and the contrast is notable -- it's like you're looking into a foggy bathroom mirror after all of that sweet HD. "Jimmy Kimmel Live" is still broadcast in standard definition.

At 12:35, "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" is broadcast in HD; "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" is not.

Chelsea Hettrick, a public relations rep for the Kimmel show, said a switch to HD "is currently TBD" -- in other words, don't hold your breath. I've asked CBS for a comment about Ferguson, and will let you know if I hear anything.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Welcome to Talk Show News

I've been maintaining the Late Night Lineups page for about 12 years now. As the years have passed, I've added a bunch of daytime talk shows to the site, but I've kept the name; it's a legacy, I suppose. Other sites have come and gone, but mine endures.

Through this blog, I hope to branch out a little bit into discussing talk shows and sharing news. Feel free to leave a comment or contact me at loudfan (at) gmail.com.