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Posts Tagged ‘The Tonight Show’

RIP: Joan Rivers

ShutterstockJoanRivers2011With this afternoon’s sad news that Joan Rivers has passed away, we turn to the FishbowlNY archives to pay tribute to a force of comedic nature. We covered Rivers quite a bit over the years and it is our sincere hope that in the Great Beyond, she and Johnny Carson can finally make peace. Here are three favorite coverage memories:

1) “Joan Rivers Remarries Gay Couple

Our most recent item involved Rivers ministering the marriage of a male couple. It was well-intended, during a book-tour stop on the west coast. And then, made officially legal at the Plaza Athenee New York.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Amazon, HBO Ink Deal | Net Neutrality on The Ropes | Mixed News for Gannett

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HBO Classics Coming to Amazon Prime (LostRemote)
Amazon is continuing its streaming-TV push, partnering with HBO on a multi-year deal to exclusively bring classic HBO shows to Amazon Prime subscribers, the two companies announced Wednesday. Variety Terms of the deal were not disclosed; it covers only the U.S. Under the agreement, Amazon has exclusive SVOD rights for select HBO programming and will make the first wave of it available to Prime subscribers beginning May 21. That includes full seasons of The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, The Wire, Big Love, Deadwood, Eastbound & Down, Family Tree, Enlightened, Treme, early seasons of Boardwalk Empire and True Blood, as well as miniseries like Band of Brothers and John Adams. GigaOM Some of HBO’s newer shows will also be available, with a substantial delay: “Previous seasons of other HBO shows, such as Girls, The Newsroom and Veep will become available over the course of the multi-year agreement, approximately three years after airing on HBO.” In addition, Amazon said that it will add HBO Go to its recently launched streaming video box, Fire TV — “targeting a launch by year-end.” New York Post HBO’s coveted content has long been kept beyond reach of outside content bundles like Amazon and Netflix, and only available to subscribers. Amazon’s win will surely be viewed as a loss for Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, who still dominates the bundled streaming space, but who also recently announced a price increase for new subscribers. Amazon also increased its prices, but is also seeking to expand its customer base with Fire TV. THR Amazon Prime also has exclusive online-only subscription deals for PBS’ Downton Abbey and Mr. Selfridge, CBS’ Under The Dome and upcoming Halle Berry-headlined miniseries Extant as well as 24, Veronica Mars, Orphan Black, The Americans and Justified. But it has had less success with its own original series; neither Alpha House nor Betas has achieved the pop culture significance of Netflix’s Kevin Spacey drama House of Cards.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Fallon Debuts | Costas Returns | Roberts for Pre-Oscars

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Jimmy Fallon Powers Tonight Show Debut With Stars Like Tina Fey, U2 (LA Times / Show Tracker)
Heeeere’s Jimmy! Jimmy Fallon made his debut Monday as the new host of The Tonight Show in an inaugural broadcast that was heavy on star power and sought to capitalize on the franchise’s new digs in New York City after 42 years on the West Coast. Variety Rather than brag about the entire affair, Fallon, clad in a two-buttoned gray suit and black tie, approached his initial turn as host of NBC’s venerable Tonight Show with humility during a taping on early Monday evening. He talked to the audience as if many hadn’t watched him during his slightly less than five-year tenure on Late Night. He pointed out his parents sitting in the studio audience. And he told Will Smith, the first guest in what NBC dubbed “Show #0001” he was mindful of his place in the program’s long history: “This is a big deal, and it’s a lot of pressure,” he said. TheWrap Fallon kicked off the first Tonight Show to broadcast from New York in 42 years with a thank you to the past hosts: “Steve Allen, Jack Paar, Johnny Carson, Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien and Jay Leno.” With that quick acknowledgement of the strange machinations that led to his hosting gig and returned the show East, Fallon got down to making a play for the biggest, broadest audience in late night. Hip-hop figured heavily in the mix: The Roots, his house band, is the first hip-hop group to anchor the most iconic show in late night. Capital New York NBC says that aircraft engine builder, kitchen appliance-maker and former NBC owner General Electric will be a launch sponsor of the new Tonight Show as it debuted Monday. As part of the deal, G.E. will sponsor a recurring segment on the show called “Tonight Show Fallonventions,” in which Fallon presents fun inventions created by kids. NYT NBC and its corporate parent, Comcast, have made a significant investment in reclaiming the Tonight Show for New York, though executives declined to give a figure beyond that it was many millions of dollars. The move brings with it jobs, not only on the show itself, but in related tourism businesses. TVNewser Before he left for Sochi, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams sat down with Fallon, who talks about the excitement of bringing the Tonight Show back to New York.

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Heeeere’s Eugene Lee’s Wood-Carved Manhattan Skyline

When the curtain raises this evening on Jimmy Fallon‘s version of The Tonight Show, viewers will be greeted out of the 30 Rock gate by a new musical theme, an opening title-sequence directed by Spike Lee and, of course, a brand new set.

From Bill Carter‘s NYT preview:

Doing it right included bringing in Eugene Lee, the renowned theatrical set designer, to create a new look for the studio, dominated by a wood-carved skyline of Manhattan. “I think it’s Eugene Lee’s masterpiece,” said Lorne Michaels, the show’s executive producer, who has made use of Mr. Lee’s services in the past on Saturday Night Live.

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Columnist: Californians Should ‘Declare War’ on Jimmy Fallon

JoeMathewsZocaloPublicSquarePicLook out. In his latest column, Zócalo Public Square editor Joe Mathews (pictured) fast-jams the Jimmy Fallon news. Contrary to Jay Leno‘s repeated good wishes for his successor, including a conversation between the two during The Tonight Show‘s final west coast week, Mathews thinks Fallon may well be the state’s Congenial Enemy Number One. Here’s the first two paragraphs:

It’s dangerous for a people to declare one man their enemy and hunt him down. It’s unwise for a state to scapegoat one man for its problems.

Nevertheless, I think California should make an exception and declare war on Jimmy Fallon.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Leno Signs Off | Carville Joins Fox | AOL CEO Under Fire

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Emotional Jay Leno Bids Star-Studded Farewell to Tonight Show (Reuters)
Comedian Jay Leno said an emotional goodbye to The Tonight Show on Thursday with a star-studded farewell led by actor Billy Crystal, after hosting the NBC late-night program for more than 20 years and handing the reins over to Jimmy Fallon. Leno, 63, who took over one of U.S. broadcast television’s marquee programs in 1992 from Johnny Carson, came out to a standing ovation from the audience of friends and family, shaking hands with many as he did in each show. Variety Characteristically, Leno wasn’t particularly maudlin or sentimental at first, at least compared to Carson’s “very heartfelt goodnight” that preceded Leno’s briefly interrupted stint as Carson’s successor. THR / The Live Feed Celebrity friends — or, in some cases, just celebrities — that appeared onstage included Jack Black, Kim Kardashian, Chris Paul, Sheryl Crow, Jim Parsons, Carol Burnett and Oprah Winfrey. The seven joined Billy Crystal in a snarky musical salute to Leno, and Winfrey got one of the night’s biggest laughs by singing a line of Crystal’s slightly tweaked “So Long, Farewell” from The Sound of Music. TheWrap The episode felt like an affectionate roast. Leno, once accused of jealously refusing to yield the show, was plenty generous with airtime. He left it to others to get most of the laughs, though he got plenty of his own too: At one point he said the real shame was that in all his time on the show, O.J. Simpson never found the real killers. The Washington Post / Television It wasn’t until Leno’s tearful speech at the end that this final show felt worthy of shelf space in television’s historical vault. “Boy this is the hard part,” Leno said, quickly verklempt. He thanked his audience and talked about how lucky he felt to have interviewed “presidents, astronauts, movie stars…” But he was most appreciative of his hard-working, union-labor staff: “The first year of this show I lost my mom; the second year I lost my dad. Then my brother died and after that I was pretty much out of family. The folks here became my family,” Leno said. “When people say to me, ‘Hey, why don’t you go to ABC, why don’t you go to Fox?’ — [but] I didn’t know anybody over there. These are the only people I know.”

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Kimmel, Damon Log Another Tense Late Night Chapter

As one early YouTube commenter so rightly notes, “OMG, this does not get old!” It also risks upstaging, not by accident, Jay Leno‘s NBC Tonight Show farewell with Billy Crystal and Garth Brooks. Kimmel, called out by Leno in several recent interviews, has not just Matt Damon tonight but also George Clooney, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman and Bob Balaban!

Per the teaser clip above, Kimmel relegates his least favorite The Monuments Men star to a stage-left improvised seating arrangement. One that is brought out after the exasperated host tells Guillermo, “Will you get this baby his chair?”

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Jay Leno Gives Jimmy Fallon a Couple of Great Pointers

When Howard Stern recently appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, he warned that there needs to be a very different kind of opening monologue once the talk show host takes over The Tonight Show. Via The Hollywood Reporter, in a second interview to go along with this weekend’s 60 Minutes report, Jay Leno concurs.

Shutterstock_JayLenoHughJackman

From Leno’s Q&A with Lacey Rose:

“The [11:30 p.m.] late-night shows that have failed are the ones where the monologue was weak – two, three minutes. We do 14 minutes every night, which is almost a sitcom. It’s a lot of jokes, but for a lot of people it’s how they get their news.”

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Jay Leno Explains Himself Via 60 Minutes

Late night TV industry watchers have applauded Jimmy Fallon for choosing, from the very beginning of his transition to The Tonight Show, to keep in regular, friendly contact with the man he is succeeding, Jay Leno. That politically astute methodology will ring even 20/20 wiser once the masses have had a chance this weekend to watch Leno’s 60 Minutes interview.

JayLeno60MinutesThe exiting host obviously waited until he was on his way out to give his first in-depth interview about the Conan O’Brien debacle. Still, it’s a coup for Steve Kroft and no doubt a piece that will generate renewed discussion of a very sorry 2009 NBC episode. From the CBS News release:

“I was blindsided… [NBC executives said] ‘You’re out…’ and I went ‘Okay.’” Leno says he never asked NBC why, but the news hurt him like a romantic break-up. “You know, you have a girl [who] says, ‘I don’t want to see you anymore.’ Why? You know, she doesn’t want to see you anymore, okay?”

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Heeeere’s Henry! ‘Bombastic Bushkin’ Recounts Joan Rivers-Edgar Trickery

Cover_JohnnyCarsonIt’s difficult to believe, as Henry Bushkin told us for Mediabistro’s latest “So What Do You Do?“, that he had a hard time initially interesting New York publishers in his tell-all memoir Johnny Carson. But in the end, a book first envisioned as a self-published enterprise has arrived at a time that feels just right, framed by Janet Maislin‘s rave review in the New York Times.

In one unpublished portion of our Mediabistro conversation, Bushkin addressed Carson’s celebrated falling out with Joan Rivers. He reconfirmed his view that it all came down to some very duplicitous actions by Rivers’ late husband Edgar:

“This guy was as shady as you can possibly imagine, right? When I say “Inspector Clouseau”, that’s who he was. But he was the devious Inspector Clouseau. He clearly said that he called me several times, OK? He never called me once. And I’m certain he told his wife, ‘I tried to tell these guys, but Bushkin wouldn’t return my call.’”

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