Friday, 29 January 2010

Hollywood Babble On & On #444: Quo Vadis Late Night?

Welcome to the show folks...

Now that the dust seems to be settled on the Late Night talk show wars it's time for me to stop and think about what the major players should do next, and what they will probably end up doing next.

So, let's get the ball rolling....


WHAT HE SHOULD DO: Realize that overall late night audiences are declining, and will continue to decline, and that even if he starts beating Letterman again, he'll be king of a rapidly dwindling kingdom. Then take a serious look at himself and his career.

Cling desperately to The Tonight Show, booking fewer and fewer comedians, for fear that one might replace him, or at least call him on his past weaselly behavior. Finally realizing that he screwed up and that the dream is over about a decade after it's been canceled.


WHAT HE SHOULD DO: What he shouldn't do right now is jump into another talk show as soon as he's available. I know Fox is sniffing around, but he should offer them an alternative. That alternative is a free form sketch comedy program on their fast growing FX cable channel, with him and Andy Richter as hosts, and a rotating cast of young writers and performers selected from all over the country, using online resources to recruit them.

WHAT HE'S GOING TO DO: Probably jump right into another talk show at Fox.


WHAT HE SHOULD DO: Realize, like Jay, that the overall late-night talk audience is shrinking. He should also realize that he's too condescending, too smug, and too old to attract and hold onto new viewers without the novelty of an NBC implosion, or the exposure of his illicit Viagra fueled lechery. He should spend the next few years to find an heir, maybe even Conan as the ultimate fist-up to NBC, and groom them to replace him at the time he chooses to retire with dignity.

WHAT HE'S GOING TO DO: Cling to his show until the coroner comes to drag his carcass out from behind his desk, while most viewers find alternatives on other channels.


WHAT HE SHOULD DO: Keep plugging himself as the one true alternative to his aging competitor's combination of self-pity and self-importance. He's the youngest guy at his time slot, and should bug ABC to dump Nightline and move himself up half an hour.

WHAT HE'S GOING TO DO: Probably what he should do, and finally marry Ben Affleck, and make an honest man out him.


WHAT HE SHOULD DO: Leave NBC and learn a trade that does less damage, like gardening, as long as he's not allowed to use anything sharp.

WHAT HE'S GOING TO DO: Stay at NBC, using whatever satanic machinations keep him in place, and keep on whittling it down until there's nothing left, then turn his attention to destroying NBC-U's still profitable cable channels.


WHAT THEY SHOULD DO: Fire Zucker, and then try to do something, anything, to fix the mess he's put him in.

WHAT THEY'RE GOING TO DO: Keep Zucker, and let him run the company into the ground.

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