Sunday, August 30, 2009

Jay Leno: How fresh is the comedy?

A few days ago, Talk Show News reported on the stand-up routines Jay Leno was doing in preparation for his new 10 PM gig, including ones on such moldy topics as "jokes about why women love cats" and "why men must dominate the remote control." A new promo for "The Jay Leno Show," which aired today during a preseason football game, didn't do anything to convince me that he'll be bringing a significantly fresher approach to his prime time program. The ad features Jay sitting at the table with his writing staff, preparing bits for his "Headlines" segment. Here's a screen shot:


Note the fine print: "Application deadline is Monday, October 4, 1999." Has Leno spent his summer working his way through a backlog of unused clippings that date back to the Clinton Administration, or is this an old fave from the "Tonight" archives that has been dredged up for the commercial? In any case, you'd think someone at NBC would have at least whited out that line to make the joke look a little less musty.

COLBERT in space

Colbert is in space -- well, not Stephen Colbert the satirist, but C.O.L.B.E.R.T., the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill, which was named after the Comedy Central star in April. After a week of false starts, the space shuttle carrying the treadmill and an international crew of astronauts blasted off on Friday.

Houston Press blogger Richard Connelly reported that at a preflight press conference, a NASA official, when asked if the space agency should do more "fun" stuff like the C.O.L.B.E.R.T., replied "You should answer that yourself. We're engineers. It's the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill." Ouch! Sounds like that guy's not an it-getter!

Connelly also revealed that astronaut Jose Hernandez is bringing an Oakland Raiders team flag to place aboard the space station. Talk Show News hopes word of the Silver and Black's crushing 45-7 preseason loss to the New Orleans Saints hasn't reached the astronaut yet, or Hernandez may be too depressed to fulfill his mission.

Here's Stephen addressing NASA, stating how proud he is that his "space treadmill" will "finally help slim down all those chubby astronauts":

Daytime Emmy Awards: Ladies of "The View" unseat Ellen

Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Sherri Shepherd and Barbara Walters broke Ellen DeGeneres' four-year winning streak as Best Talk Show Host at this year's Daytime Emmy Awards. None of the ladies were there in person to accept their collective honor.

Rachael Ray and Tyra Banks also received trophies in, respectively, the entertainment and informative talk show categories.

"The View" is currently on break and will air reruns until Sept. 8, when their new season begins. A variety of women will fill in for Hasselbeck, who is on maternity leave, including Meghan McCain and Kate Gosselin.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Craig Kilborn: The Onion pokes fun at him -- again!

One of the most popular entries on this blog is the one about Craig Kilborn, who seems to have done a disappearing act in the past few years. Talk Show News would love to know what happened to the guy -- Craiggers, if you ever self-Google, drop me a line! -- but lately, he seems to have become something of a human punchline for satirical web site The Onion.

A while ago, they published an article with the headline "Gin-Soaked Craig Kilborn Shows Up Broke, Homeless at SportsCenter Studio." To add insult to injury, it is currently the third link that shows up when you Google the former host. This week, The Onion took aim at him again with an item titled "Dan Patrick Assumed More People Would Be At Craig Kilborn's Birthday Party." "Following Craig Kilborn's 47th birthday party last Monday, former ESPN colleague Dan Patrick told reporters he was surprised at the celebration's low turnout, saying he was sure there would be more than six attendees at the event... Patrick said that he took his cue to go home when an intoxicated Kilborn asked if anyone could tell him 'just what the fuck it is I do for a living because I sure as shit don't know.'"

Judging from the number of people who hit this site while looking for info on Kilborn, a lot of folks are waiting for him to come back into the public eye.

Jay Leno: Big week of celebrity guests

The first week of guests for Jay Leno's new 10 PM show have been announced, and the former "Tonight Show" host is obviously out to prove that he can score big, big names. Here is the lineup:

Mo 9/14: Jerry Seinfeld, Jay-Z with Rihanna & Kanye West
Tu 9/15: Tom Cruise
We 9/16: Robin Williams, Miley Cyrus
Th 9/17: Halle Berry, Bruce Hornsby & Eric Clapton
Fr 9/18: Drew Barrymore

Cruise and Berry, as far as I can tell, don't have any new projects to plug -- his most recent flick, "Valkyrie," has been out on DVD since May, and her multiple personality drama "Frankie and Alice" doesn't have a release date yet -- so the fact that they're appearing on "Leno" means they must really want to do the host a solid.

Barrymore will be promoting her directorial debut, the roller derby comedy "Whip It," while Jay-Z, Cyrus and Hornsby will have brand new albums out. Seinfeld is making a highly-touted return to TV comedy on "Curb Your Enthusiasm" this fall, and is exec-producing a midseason reality series for NBC called "The Marriage Ref."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Late Night Ratings: The NYT sums it up in one sentence

"In Late-Night Battle, It’s All About Young and Old." Even when Conan is in reruns, younger people are still watching "Tonight," while the older demographic flocks to "Late Show with David Letterman."

Even though Dave had almost a million more viewers than Conan, O'Brien still beat him in "adults between 18 and 34 (598,000 to 336,000) and won easily in the category sought most avidly by many advertisers, viewers between 18 and 49, 1.280 million to 1.068 million."

In total viewers, the "Tonight" repeats were watched by 2.468 million viewers, while 3.407 million tuned in to see the fresh "Late Show"s.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Who do you love? Stewart, Colbert, Ferguson

If you read this blog, you are probably someone who has an above-average engagement with your favorite late night talk shows. But would you say you have an emotional connection to them? Do you love them?

Chances are you do, especially if your favorites are "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," "The Colbert Report" and "Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson." That's according to a new poll, as reported on by the New York Times' Bill Carter.

Comedy Central, home to Stewart and Colbert, wants to prove that an engaged viewer is a valuable viewer, and that they should be able to charge a premium for advertising on the popular half-hour comedy shows. "When asked if they out-and-out loved a show, 'The Daily Show' with Mr. Stewart hit 51 percent among those surveyed, with 'The Colbert Report' second at 39 percent," according to the Harris Poll. "Only one network star came close to generating that much love: CBS’s Craig Ferguson. Among his fans, 35 percent said they loved his show."

Even non-Stewart and Colbert viewers seem to think folks who watch the Comedy Central programs are pretty cool people:

Among the terms fans of people like Jay Leno, David Letterman and Conan O’Brien used to describe viewers of Mr. Stewart and Mr. Colbert were “enthusiastic,” “friendly,” “fun,” “more informed,” “more intelligent,” “trustworthy,” “warm,” and “witty.”
Beth Coleman, a vice president for advertising sales for MTV Entertainment Networks, the parent of Comedy Central, said "Daily Show" and "Colbert Report" fans “wear these shows like a badge. It’s a cultlike phenomenon.”

Considering that both programs are on hiatus until Sept. 14, chances are these emotionally engaged viewers are going through withdrawal right now.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

High Def Craig: Ferguson's First Guests

As previously reported, Craig Ferguson will begin broadcasting in high definition beginning on Monday the 31st. CBS has just announced the guest lineup for his first few HD shows, so here's who you can expect to see when Ferguson debuts the fresh "Late Late Show" look, which will include revamped opening credits and a new theme song.

Mo 8/31: Emily Deschanel, Terry Crews
Tu 9/1: Quentin Tarantino, Jason Ritter
We 9/2: Mila Kunis, Alex Dryden
Th 9/3: TBA
Fr 9/4: Radha Mitchell, DJ Qualls

Mo 9/7: Juliette Lewis, Alex O'Loughlin
Tu 9/8: Neil Patrick Harris, Spencer Day

Friday, August 21, 2009

Jay Leno: Why men hog the remote control

Talk Show News is getting tired of writing about Jay Leno, but his 10 PM debut is only 23 days away (thanks, countdown clock!) and the man is everywhere. Today, the Wall Street Journal profiled "TV's most famous workhorse," who is gearing up for his show by doing stand-up. And talk about fresh ideas: among Leno's routines are "jokes about why women love cats," "why men must dominate the remote control," and "a riff about the warnings on prescription medication." The article is accompanied by a little gallery of Leno through the ages, from the open-shirted swinger look he sported in the '70s to the white-haired, flag-pin-wearing Jay of today, and one can't help but wonder if some of those gags have been in his stand-up arsenal since the Carter era. "I don't like the edgy comics out there," said a 60-year-old retiree quoted in the piece. "Mr. Leno, she added, belongs more to 'the age of Johnny Carson.'" I'm sure the demographic bean counters at NBC will love that, since that woman's demographic is about as desirable to the Peacock Network as a 2-year-old Ford Focus would be to car collector Leno.

Meanwhile, San Francisco Chronicle TV writer Tim Goodman digs up some quotes from the Television Critics' Association press tour, exposing the anger that people in the industry feel about NBC's decision to dump five hours of scripted drama. "I feel they should take the American flag down in front of the building and just put up a white one, because they've clearly given up," says producer Peter Tolan ("Rescue Me"). "They've clearly just said, 'Look, we can't develop. We can't develop anything that's going to stick ... clearly can't find anything with any traction, so we quit.' Am I wrong? I don't think I'm wrong."

"One area that I haven't seen you people write much about -- I wish you'd hold NBC's feet to the fire a little bit more (over), is they talk about how the 'Leno' show's going to be cheaper to make," said Shawn Ryan (creator of "The Shield," show runner on "The Unit"). "But what's the value of a show after it's aired? They can't sell that overseas. They can't sell it on DVD. No one's interested in watching an episode of it three weeks later because all the topical humor is no longer topical.

"And so you can talk about how a show like 'Heroes' on NBC is very expensive to make, but the fact is it has value today all across the world. It's going to have value tomorrow in the DVD market, online. It's going to have a lot of value. There's a reason why these companies are in this business. It's because these shows, when they work, make a lot of money."

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Late Night Ratings: "Late Show" reruns beat original "Tonight Shows" by a slightly larger margin

Reread last week's post and you'll get a decent approximation of this week's ratings news. The only difference: Dave's repeats scored a few more viewers during the week of Aug. 10. During the week of Aug. 3, "Mr. Letterman’s repeats nosed out Mr. O’Brien by just 7,000 viewers," writes the New York Times' Bill Carter. "Last week he beat him by 280,000 with 2.95 million viewers to 2.67 million for Mr. O’Brien."

Carter also reveals the total viewership of the first half hour of "Tonight" and "Late Show," along with the only half hour of "Nightline": "In the half hour when the three shows faced each other 'Nightline' had 3.36 million viewers to 3.27 million for Mr. Letterman and 3 million even for Mr. O’Brien."

Here's the CBS press release trumpeting the "Late Show" victory, and the predictable response from NBC about Conan's demographic win in viewers 18-49.

Next week, it'll be interesting to see what the ratings picture looks like, as Conan is currently broadcasting reruns and Dave has original shows. Both "Tonight" and "Late Show" will have all-new episodes beginning Aug. 24. Conan seems to have a little more starpower, with guests including Quentin Tarantino, Bill Maher and Mike Tyson, vs. Vogue magazine's Anna Wintour, Eugene Levy and Anne Heche in the "Late Show" lineup.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Jay Leno: Jerry Seinfeld will be his first guest

The first musical guests on "The Jay Leno Show" have already been announced (Jay-Z with Rihanna and Kanye West), and now the New York Times is reporting that Jerry Seinfeld will also appear on the Sept. 14 debut. No word yet on whether Seinfeld, a fellow car buff with a valuable Porsche collection, will take Jay's "Green Car Challenge."

Meanwhile, the new issue of Entertainment Weekly (Aug. 21) has an interesting article about booking "Leno." According to EW's Lynette Rice, execs at ABC and CBS have "told their stars to just say no if bookers attempt to recruit them for 'The Jay Leno Show,'" which will compete with dramatic series on the rival networks. Rice also quotes a couple of Hollywood publicists about the elaborate booking rules for chat shows: for instance, David Letterman and Conan O'Brien "don't want to book A-listers who've just appeared on the other's late-night show," but Jimmy Fallon will "pretty much take anybody." In daytime, stars who show up on "Rachael Ray" or "Bonnie Hunt" should not expect to boogie down with Ellen DeGeneres.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Rerun News: "The Daily Show," "Colbert Report" take 3 weeks off

Enjoy next week's fresh episodes of "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report" -- they'll have to tide you over until Sept. 14. The Comedy Central favorites will be taking three weeks off, beginning Aug. 24. In the past, the late-summer break has frequently been two weeks long plus Labor Day, but the schedule is a bit different this year. Of course, in 2008 they had to work their vacation time around the political conventions.

Expect hilarious news to break while "TDS" is on vacation, because that's what usually happens, according to "The Daily Show Conspiracy Theory," posted earlier this year on

Here are the listings for next week's new shows:
"The Daily Show with Jon Stewart":
Mo 8/17: David Cross
Tu 8/18: Christopher McDougall
We 8/19: Tim Gunn
Th 8/20: Betsy McCaughey

"The Colbert Report":
Mo 8/17: Bill McKibben
Tu 8/18: Christopher Caldwell
We 8/19: Ang Lee
Th 8/20: Robert Wright

Late Night Ratings: "Late Show" reruns beat original "Tonight Shows" by a tiny margin

Talk Show News confidently stated last week that Conan would "beat Dave decisively in next week's ratings, since all-new 'Tonight Show's will be going up against Letterman reruns." I was wrong, as CBS was happy to report. "Late Show" repeats did indeed have a bigger audience than "Tonight," but only by a smidge.

"Late Show" "delivered a 2.1/06 in households with an average of 2.95m viewers beating first-run 'The Tonight Show' in households (vs. 2.0/05, +5%) and viewers (vs. 2.94m)," according to Nielsen ratings for the week ending Aug. 7. It was Letterman's fifth weekly consecutive win over "Tonight."

As they do every week, NBC ripostes by bragging about their more desirable demographics.

As for "Nightline," it beat both shows rather decisively, with an average of 3.3 million viewers per broadcast.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Jay Leno: Don't legalize pot!

Part 2 of Tavis Smiley's interview with Jay Leno aired last night (listen to the MP3 here), and as on Monday night, there wasn't much new material -- he told that "mother shushing the audience at Carnegie Hall" anecdote in his 1997 autobiography, Leading With My Chin. But somehow, a discussion of Cash for Clunkers turned into Leno (who has said he has never had an alcoholic beverage in his entire life) giving his opinion on legalizing marijuana. He's against it:

Tavis: I thought about you with that Cash for Clunkers program. You don't have any clunkers to trade in because all your stuff is priceless.

Jay: No, no, it's not priceless. I think it's good and it stimulates the economy and that's wonderful. But I just go with the next step. We've got all this cheese, how about, eat cheese, get a check? Sooner or later we're going to have to produce something. It's like, they want to legalize marijuana. I'm against it not because of marijuana. Just the fact that, we have legalized gambling. There's no product. We don't make anything anymore. If times are good, and there's plenty of money, then legalize marijuana. But as a fundraising source? That's what California needs, more high people. To me, I don't get it. I would like to see factories make a product the rest of the world wants to buy, and then other people will come in and make products to augment that product, that's how you raise tax revenue. To me, constant sin taxes, gambling, drinking, how about prostitution? Where's your base?

Note to Jay: if American factories start to produce a product "the rest of the world wants to buy," the factory owner will shortly fire all the American workers and outsource production to a cheaper factory overseas. Also, you'd think a former Doritos spokesman would be friendlier to the idea of legalizing pot.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Jay Leno talks about Conan's "growing pains"

Tavis Smiley is doing a two-part interview with Jay Leno on his PBS show. The first part aired last night, but Talk Show News' home station, KQED, is in the middle of a pledge drive, which means regular programming is off and "fund raising" programming ("Chris Botti Live in Boston," "Brain Fitness 2," "Dolly Parton: Live in London," "Stay Rich Forever & Ever") is on. I'm glad KQED-FM doesn't operate the same way, or they'd no doubt be playing the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac instead of "All Things Considered" during pledge. Ugh.

Luckily, though, Tavis' web site posts MP3s of his interviews, so I was able to listen to Part 1 of his sit-down with Jay. There weren't a lot of blazing new insights -- if you followed the news about Jay's TCA panel, you had already heard some of his answers verbatim. Tavis asked him about the stories he's sad he missed while he was off the air (#1: Gov. Mark Sanford -- "When you're married, you don't call your girlfriend your soul mate! You idiot!"), and about Conan's sagging ratings, which led to this exchange:

Tavis: You've been so busy working on your own show, you may not have read the news that "The Tonight Show" has lost something like 2 million viewers under Conan.

Jay: I hadn't heard that.

Tavis: (laughter)

Jay: To be fair, Conan's going through the exact same thing I went through when I took over from Johnny. "You stink, you suck. It's a travesty that they replaced Johnny with someone--" Whoever has the job goes through this. It's all part of the growing pains. It goes down for a while and then it comes back up again. I don't think it's fair to judge Conan on what's happened in a month or two. It's the exact same thing I went through. I got beat up for like 4-5 months and you still go out with your chin up, fight the good fight. Then one day Newsweek had a story, "What's So Bad About Leno?" They had some jokes of mine they thought were funny, and it turned around. So that's what happened. Conan was #1 for 17 years in a row in his spot. OK, he moves to another spot, it takes a while to find himself.

Tonight: Part 2, including more about his relationship with his parents -- and with David Letterman.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Wanda Sykes chats about her new talk show

Wanda Sykes appeared at a panel today at the Television Critics Association summer press tour to discuss her new weekly talk show, coming this November 7 to FOX. (It'll be in the old MAD TV 11 PM time slot.) Sounds like Sykes's show will be more in the Chelsea Handler/Bill Maher mold than a traditional desk-bound program. “The week’s really not over until you see it through Wanda’s eyes," said executive producer Eddie Feldmann, according to Broadcasting and Cable. "[We’ll] really look at the week in a different way through skits… and eclectic panels.”

The show will not feature musical guests, although Wanda added, “If Dick Cheney puts out a hip hop album, we’re booking him.” (How about rappin' M.C. Rove?)

On being one of only two women in late night: “It’s a great opportunity. I just try and focus on the job and being funny moreso than ‘Oh I’m a female,’" said Sykes, who will continue to work as an actress, both on "The New Adventures of Old Christine" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm." "I put funny first and I just happen to have boobs.”

When asked why there have been few minorities in the late night talk show arena, Sykes quipped, "White people. There's too many of you."

Forbes reports that Sykes "has neither the time nor the interest in expanding her weekly series to a daily one right now" -- but if the show takes off, perhaps FOX will consider getting back into the late night talk show business, something they abandoned after the ill-fated "Chevy Chase Show."

Jay Leno: First musical guests

Despite Jay Leno's pronouncement yesterday that "what music gets you is a great studio audience; what music doesn't get you is a great television audience," the first guests announced for his new prime time show are musical: Jay-Z with Rihanna and Kanye West.

The superstar trio will perform "Run This Town," a song from what NBC calls Jay-Z's "highly anticipated new album" The Blueprint 3, which will be available in stores and online on September 11.

Late Night Ratings: Dave beats Conan, "Nightline" in total viewers

"Late Show with David Letterman" scored more viewers than "The Tonight Show" for the fourth week in a row, the first time that's happened since 1995, according to CBS. An average of 3.38 million viewers tuned in to see Dave, up a hair from last week. Conan's viewership went up a little bit as well, from 2.5 million to 2.63 million. "Nightline" was just a little bit behind Dave, with 3.36 million people watching the newsmagazine.

Look for Conan to beat Dave decisively in next week's ratings, since all-new "Tonight Show"s will be going up against Letterman reruns.

Not surprisingly, NBC is declaring victory (though not describing Conan as "the new king of late night"), announcing that "Conan's average 1.374 million adults 18-49 topped the 1.022 million of Letterman."

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Conan O'Brien: Premature coronation

Calling Conan O'Brien "the new king of late night" in a press release after his first week on the air was perhaps not the wisest move NBC could have made, something NBC late night chief Rick Ludwin acknowledged in a press conference at the Television Critics Association summer tour today.

"I think it was premature," said Ludwin, as quoted by the TVMoJoe blog. "We were very proud of the show (and its ratings). And there were those who had predicted that Conan wouldn't be broadbased."

If he had the chance to do it all again... would he?

"No," he said, later adding that NBC is "not disappointed in Conan's ratings at all."

"He is winning 18-49, [adults] 18-34 and [adults] 35-54," said Ludwin, according to Broadcasting & Cable. "We're winning in all the demos that the advertisers want to buy."

At a conference earlier in the week, CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler ribbed the rival network, "saying that while CBS was feeling bullish about their 10 p.m. dramas opposite the new Jay Leno show this fall, NBC will 'declare victory [for] whatever ratings he gets, so it really doesn’t matter.'"

Jay Leno: Slimmed down and ready for September

A trimmer Jay Leno met the nation's TV critics at the TCA summer press tour -- he's lost 12 pounds since he went off the air by running 4 miles a day -- and offered up some details about his forthcoming show. Instead of stand-up comics, "The Jay Leno Show" will feature "correspondents" (shades of "The Daily Show," perhaps?), including Mikey Day, D.L. Hughley, Rachael Harris, Jim Norton -- and NBC anchorman Brian Williams? "He'll be doing occasional bits like 'stories that weren't good enough to make the news,'" according to this Zap2It account. Well, Williams did host "Saturday Night Live" once.

Zap2It also reveals that "the new set is bigger, won't have a desk and will allow for more interaction between Jay, his guests and the audience. Also, in homage to [U.K. car show] 'Top Gear,' Leno's building a race track in which celebrities will see how fast they can drive a hybrid car through a course -- it's called 'the Green Car Challenge.'"

Anyone who wants to see "Headlines" and "Jaywalking" had better plan on staying up 'til 11, because those popular comedy bits will have a new home in the last 15 minutes of the show, creating a lead-in to the local news. How about musical acts, which traditionally cause massive tune-out? "What music gets you is a great studio audience," Leno said, explaining that his new show will feature musical performances approximately twice a week. "What music doesn't get you is a great television audience."

New Jersey Star-Ledger reporter Alan Sepinwall noted that the host "seemed unconcerned about whether 'The Jay Leno Show' ... would succeed or fail. When a reporter, recalling how nervous he seemed at a similar press conference at the start of his 'Tonight' tenure, asked what made him so confident, he said, frankly, 'I'm rich now.'"

Sepinwall also quoted Jay on his feelings about giving up "Tonight" to Conan O'Brien: "The one thing that kills people in this town is bitterness," Leno offered. "NBC's logic is that when you host 'The Tonight Show," you give it up when you're (still) number one. That way, the show stays strong. I get it; I understand that. It makes perfect sense. But do you feel a little twinge? Sure. That's okay, but you're a grown up. You've had your chance. There's only so much pie you can eat... I enjoyed doing that, when this opportunity came along, they seemed genuinely excited or interested in it.

"This is an interesting challenge," he added. "It's more fun. We're doing things that are interesting that we couldn't do under 'The Tonight Show' banner because it wasn't 'The Tonight Show brand."

Meanwhile, the New York Times reported today on the saturation advertising "The Jay Leno Show" will receive in advance of its premiere (only 39 days away, according to the countdown clock)! Despite the fact that 80% of all Americans know Jay is coming back this fall at 10 PM, NBC plans to advertise Leno on popcorn bags, soda cups and in on-screen advertisements at movie theaters; billboards and bus shelters; and on airplanes, at gyms, in elevators and in New York City taxi cabs. "NBC will also mark the 10th aisle of about 700 supermarkets in 12 American markets," and adopt a portion of California's Highway 10 -- because Jay will be on at 10 PM, get it?

The Times cited NBC network figures that 25% of respondents surveyed "say they will probably or definitely watch the comedy hour." The goal of John Miller, chief marketing officer for the NBC Universal Television Group, is to move that number closer to 30% by September.“Usually our major goal is creating awareness,” said Miller. “This time we have awareness. We have to drive this feverish intent.”

Monday, August 3, 2009

Craig Ferguson at TCA roundup

The witty and profane Craig Ferguson met the nation's TV critics today in Los Angeles. They're predisposed to like him because he always sends pizza to their business meetings. Here's a sampling of what he said:

Entertainment Weekly:
“You mean 18-to-49 is the most important [measurement]? And they don’t measure beyond 49? In two years I’ll be 49, so f— that!”

“I may be through with my cussin’ puppets; I’m gettin’ a bit bored with them.”
On Jay Leno's move to 10 PM: "I'm mystified by many things in life, and that one, I don't really understand what's going on there. I don't program television. I'm just the pretty one that reads the prompter."

"David Letterman is the king of late-night television. ... My relationship with David Letterman is that I sit at his feet. That's what it is. I'm kind of his bitch."

New Jersey Star-Ledger:
"America, for me, is a philosophical and emotional decision. It's not just jingoistic, it's certainly not just political. It's not a donkey or an elephant. It's a flag and an idea. It's a dream, it's a belief in fairness and opportunity... It's the only thing, maybe, that I have difficulty playing with in any iconoclastic way on the show... It's not my job to make fun of everything."

"Look, the truth is we are all in a precarious business... I don't want to be frightened. As writers, to be frightened, you will become ineffective. So I don't want to have the ambition of a timeslot or a number of dollars frighten me. Do I want to make a lot of money? F--k yeah! But I've met a lot of rich people who are d-bags. I don't want to be that -- or any more of that than is necessary. I hope to in some way be able to maintain some kind of integrity."

DVR Playground:
On his upcoming book: "It’s reasonably priced and available on September 27. It’s an autobiography and I’m looking forward to reading it. I hear it’s great."

"In his first week I watched maybe 10 minutes of Jimmy [Fallon] and I like him but I stand by what I said [in previous interviews]. I thought Jimmy’s competition is Adult Swim and I still believe that. I think my competition is sleep or the Shamwow commercial, or whatever the hell is on cable."

On his guests: "I like to think I’m a bit like a doctor at a certain point, where I take a bit of a Hippocratic oath. But my favorite guest is Betty White, my least favorite guest is a certain actor…. well, f--k him."

High Def Craig: IT'S OFFICIAL!

After doggedly following this story for several months, Talk Show News is thrilled to report that Craig Ferguson fans have gotten their wish -- on Monday, Aug. 31, Craig will begin broadcasting in glorious high definition! Take it away, CBS:

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 3 - Starting on Monday, Aug. 31, CBS will begin broadcasting THE LATE LATE SHOW with CRAIG FERGUSON in high definition. That evening will also mark the debut of a new show opener, featuring Craig Ferguson in several iconic Los Angeles locations, scored to an updated version of the current show theme song.
So the report posted back on July 10 was true.

Craig did a session at the Television Critics Association summer press tour this morning. There are some quotes up right now on Daniel Fienberg's Twitter feed (looks like Craig is dropping a lot of F-bombs), and TSN will round up the blog reports later today.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Jay Leno guests on Adam Carolla's CarCast

Love cars as much as Jay Leno does? Then this week's installment of Adam Carolla's CarCast podcast is for you. Ace and Jay talk cars, cars, and nothing but cars.

Confession time: The Talk Show Newsmobile is a seven-year-old Prius with a bunch of scrapes and dings. Cars are not my thing, except as a handy way to get from point A to point B. So listening to this podcast was kind of a slog (the regular Carolla podcast, on the other hand, is way fun). But if you want to hear more about Leno's collection of autos, go get it -- it's also available as an MP3 download on iTunes (search for "adam carolla" and then click CarCast).