The War for Late Night

The War for Late Night

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A dramatic account of the politics and personalities behind NBC's calamitous attempt to reinvent late-night television. When NBC decided to move Jay Leno into prime time to make room for Conan O'Brien to host the Tonight show-a job he had been promised five years earlier-skeptics anticipated a train wreck for the ages. It took, in fact, only a few months for the dire predictions to come true. Leno's show, panned by critics, dragged down the ratings-and the profits-of NBC's affiliates, while ratings for Conan's new Tonight show plummeted to the lowest levels in history. Conan's collapse, meanwhile, opened an unexpected door of opportunity for rival David Letterman. What followed was a boisterous, angry, frequently hilarious public battle that had millions of astonished viewers glued to their sets. In The War for Late Night, New York Times reporter Bill Carter offers a detailed behind-the-scenes account of the events of the unforgettable 2009/2010 late-night season as all of its players- performers, producers, agents, and network executives-maneuvered to find footing amid the shifting tectonic plates of television culture.Those shaky moments hardly dominated Conana#39;s days and nights, though, for he had far too much to do and think about. Beyond daily ... But over the course of this last year, the monologue began to creep up to eight to ten jokes a night. ... A fine Jeep Wrangler with a busted radio, but now theya#39;re handing me the keys to a Ferrari called The Tonight Show. And I dona#39;t want to just gently put it into gear and drive it at fifty-five miles an hour down the highway so I dona#39;t burn out the clutch.

Title:The War for Late Night
Author:Bill Carter
Publisher:Penguin - 2010-11-04


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