18 items from 2014
A massive musical number? Check. A casual, low-stakes chat with Jay Leno? Check. A surprise ending that will surely echo through the annals of television history? Oh my God, check.
Craig Ferguson spared no expense Friday during his final hour as the host of CBS’ Late Late Show, kicking things off with a star-studded (albeit pre-recorded) rendition of Dead Man Fall’s “Bang Your Drum.”
That was pretty much it for the evening’s big surprises, other than a phone call from “Bill Cosby,” who says he’s doing “pretty good,” in case you were wondering. The rest of the »
A year of big transitions in latenight TV comes to a close tonight with Craig Ferguson’s sign-off on CBS’ “The Late Late Show.” The shuffle of talent and shows that will continue into next year has brought new comedic flair to the sturdy latenight talkshow format.
But even with more variations on the latenight theme to choose from, it’s hard to imagine anyone delivering a nightly broadcast quite like Ferguson’s “Late Late Show” again. The show was so personal for Ferguson, and so often performed without the safety net of jokes and sketches worked up by a large team of writers or heavily prepped celeb interviews. Tonally, he was the polar opposite of his “Late Late Show” predecessor, Craig Kilborn.
From the start on Jan. 3, 2005, Ferguson never seemed afraid to let a guest chat or prepared segment go off the rails in the pursuit of the unexpected, »
- Cynthia Littleton
CBS’ new late-night landscape comes partially into view March 9, when the network will launch a revised “Late Late Show” with new host James Corden that will tape in Los Angeles and be supervised by British producer Ben Winston.
Corden succeeds Craig Ferguson, who has hosted the late night series for the past 10 years, taking the reins from host Craig Kilborn. Ferguson is expected to sign off on December 19, 2014. David Letterman, who hosts the network’s long running “Late Show,” is also expected to step down sometime next year, though that date has not been announced.
CBS is likely to use guest hosts on its “Late Late Show” until Corden takes over the chair next spring, according to a person familiar with the matter.
“We’re excited to begin CBS’s next chapter after midnight and introduce James’ wide range of performance talents and fearless creative instincts to American television viewers, »
- Brian Steinberg
CBS will replace the quirky Craig Ferguson in its post-midnight “Late Late Show” with British actor James Corden, in what looks to be the last – at least for now – of a major series of talent shifts in wee-hours programming set off in large part by David Letterman’s decision to leave his CBS roost some time next year.
In doing so, CBS is likely hoping the new host’s experience in British TV and Broadway will help expand the appeal of “The Late Late Show” despite competition. On NBC, “Late Night with Seth Meyers” gets a heady lead-in from the new “Tonight,” helmed by Jimmy Fallon, and also enjoys a wide level of recognition from the host’s years on “Saturday Night Live.” Both have helped his program win move viewers overall and more in the advertiser-coveted 18-to-49 demographic than “Late Late Show.” On ABC, “Nightline” has also often outmaneuvered »
- Brian Steinberg
Nobody knows The Daily Show quite like J.R. Havlan—not even Jon Stewart. When he retired in late June, Havlan was the only writer who'd been with the show since day one, credited on 2,821 episodes from 1996-2014. "He has—like the show—evolved. Grown from a comic-turned-writer into an accomplished writer with just a lovely wife and family," Stewart said of Havlan. Photos Hollywood's 100 Favorite Films The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Havlan via email, where he talked about the early days working with Craig Kilborn, his proudest moments and what's behind his retirement. Do
- Aaron Couch
Jon Stewart closed out Thursday's “Daily Show” with a salute to someone who's been with the show longer than he has: writer J.R. Havlan is stepping down after working on the series since its 1996 debut. Stewart used the show's “Morning of Zen” to pay tribute, noting that Havlan has done roughly 2,900 episodes. Also read: J.R. Havlan, Longest-Serving ‘Daily Show’ Writer, Says Goodbye “He has decided for whatever reason after only 2,900 that uh, ‘Yeah, I'm good. That's enough.'” Stewart said. “Boy, we're gonna miss him.” Stewart also rolled a clip of Craig Kilborn, who hosted the show when it debuted, »
- Tim Molloy
J.R. Havlan, the only “Daily Show” writer who has been with the show since the beginning, is ending his run after 18 years. The show plans a tribute to him in his last episode Thursday. Havlan, who hosts the excellent Writer's Bloc Podcast, had hinted in recent episodes that he might be ready to try something else. With over 2,800 credits on the show, he has more than anyone including host Jon Stewart, since Havlan joined the show when it was hosted by Craig Kilborn from 1996 to 1998. Also read: Jon Stewart Mocks Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden's Attempts to »
- Tim Molloy
“The Queen Latifah Show” is shuffling its senior staff, promoting former co-executive producer Todd Yasui to executive producer status and upping supervising producers Jack Mori and Ianthe Jones to co-executive producers for season two.
Amy Coleman is also joining the talkshow as consulting producer while Fernita Wynn will serve as supervising producer.
“As we look ahead to our second season of ‘The Queen Latifah Show,’ we are proud to be able to elevate the key members of our team who contributed greatly to our initial success and we look forward to building on that success with the fresh energy and depth of expertise that Amy and Fernita bring to the staff,” said Holly Jacobs, Executive Vice President of Syndication and Reality Programming, Sony Pictures Television.
Sources indicate that previous showrunner Corin Nelson has exited the series entirely.
Previously, Yasui was executive producer of “The Late, Late Show with Craig Kilborn, »
- Laura Prudom
Norm Macdonald is tilting at windmills, rolling a stone up a hill, trying to get a late-night television talk show. Since it was announced that Craig Ferguson was leaving the Late Late Show, the devilishly sharp comedian — a legendary talk show guest and, frankly, the best-ever SNL Weekend Update anchor — has been lobbying hard for the hosting gig of CBS' post-Letterman, soon to be post-Colbert, late night show. The 50-year-old Macdonald, infamously fired from SNL by NBC executive Don Ohlmeyer in 1998, has made his case on Conan, marshaled the support »
Friends and writing partners for over a decade, Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild can now finish each other's sentences in conversation — which is a little bit confusing for interviewers, but a big reason why they average more laughs per minute that just about anyone else in Hollywood. Having initially met while working on the staff at “Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn,” they moved on to work under Seth MacFarlane when “Family Guy” relaunched in 2005. The threesome moved to live action by co-writing 2012's smash hit “Ted,” a film that grossed $549 million worldwide and wrote them what »
- Jordan Zakarin
Craig Ferguson announced that he is stepping down from The Late Late Show. His last show will come at the end of the year, which means CBS’ late night will get a complete reboot in 2015. Ferguson will walk away with the longest run as Late Late Show host, having been on the show for ten years, beating Tom Snyder‘s four years and Craig Kilborn‘s five (yes, just five, it only felt like it would never end). At least four late night talk shows (both of CBS’ shows, The Colbert Report and Chelsea Lately) will be different next year. So far we only know who will take over one of those shows.
We’re finally getting more episodes of HBO’s lamented one season wonder The Comeback. E! reports that a six episode “event series” is about to start filming. Series co creator Michael Patrick King will return »
- Lyle Masaki
It’s a sad day for fans of irreverent late night comedy, everybody. Craig Ferguson has announced that he will “consciously uncouple” from CBS and leave behind his Late Late Show desk at the end of this year, exiting just shy of his 10-year anniversary with the show and a bit before his mentor and lead-in, David Letterman, who will be replaced by Stephen Colbert at some point in 2015.Created nearly 20 years ago, The Late Late Show hasn’t achieved the legendary status that NBC’s Late Night show has, but Ferguson has been its most successful alumnus, doubling the tenure of both Tom Snyder and Craig Kilborn while ...
- Jason Tabrys
Boy oh boy. So many other shoes keep dropping you'd think the world of late television was an octopus. The month of April began with David Letterman's announcement that he was retiring from CBS' "Late Show" in 2015. It took exactly a week for CBS to announce that Stephen Colbert would be coming cover from Comedy Central to take over "The Late Show." And now, the month of April will end with CBS making a clean late-night sweep. On Monday (April 28) afternoon, Craig Ferguson announced that he will step down as host of "The Late Late Show" at the end of December. "CBS and I are not getting divorced, we are ‘consciously uncoupling,’ but we will still spend holidays together and share custody of the fake horse and robot skeleton, both of whom we love very much," Ferguson says in the official announcement, paying loving homage to Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin. »
- Daniel Fienberg
Ferguson broke the news to his studio audience at the 5 p.m. Pt taping of Monday’s edition of “Late Late Show.” In a statement issued by the network he quipped: “CBS and I are not getting divorced, we are ‘consciously uncoupling,’ but we will still spend holidays together and share custody of the fake horse and robot skeleton, both of whom we love very much.”
Ferguson’s decision comes less than a month after Letterman announced his intention to retire next year, and about two weeks after CBS tapped Stephen Colbert as his successor. Ferguson’s move was not a surprise given »
- Cynthia Littleton
CBS is down one more late-night host – Craig Ferguson just announced to his studio audience that he would not be re-upping his contract to host Late Late Show and will step down in December. “CBS and I are not getting divorced, we are ‘consciously uncoupling,’ but we will still spend holidays together and share custody of the fake horse and robot skeleton, both of whom we love very much,” Ferguson said in the announcement, which immediately triggered speculation as to who would replace him. Ferguson is sticking around until year’s end to give show staff time to figure things out, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. But, with Ferguson leaving in December, it’s likely CBS will have a new 12:35 Am host on its air before Stephen Colbert replaces David Letterman — Colbert is likewise leaving his Comedy Central series The Colbert Report at the end of the calendar year, »
- LISA DE MORAES, TV Columnist
For years in the 1990s, Comedy Central was considered nothing more than an incubator for late-night talent. Its first notable weeknight late-night show, Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher, originated there and ran for three years — from 1993-96 — before ABC snatched it to get into the late-night talk-show game. Maher’s successor at ABC, Jimmy Kimmel, also is a Comedy Central discovery, having gotten his start as host on the network’s Win Ben Stein Money and then The Man Show. Before Politically Incorrect left Comedy Central, it helped launch The Daily Show, which premiered behind Pi at 11:30 Pm before moving to the tentpole 11 Pm slot. Back then, the Daily Show had Craig Kilborn as a host. In 1998, he was poached by CBS as a host of the Late Late Show. Sixteen years later, CBS once again is reaching out to Comedy Central’s Daily Show franchise to replenish its late-night ranks, »
- NELLIE ANDREEVA
David Letterman’s sign-off from CBS’ “Late Show” next year will not only mark the end of an era in latenight, it will bring the curtain down on one of the most unique and lucrative deals ever crafted for a television star.
But Team Letterman took advantage of a moment in time that gave it the utmost leverage. NBC had been so ham-fisted in its handling of “The Tonight Show” transition in 1991 that it alienated Johnny Carson and Letterman, Carson’s hand-picked successor. That made Letterman a red-hot commodity for a rival network that was desperate to break into the latenight business. Surprisingly, for all its Tiffany successes, CBS had never fostered a latenight franchise to rival NBC — or even ABC’s perch with “Nightline. »
- Cynthia Littleton
After more than three decades in late-night television, David Letterman will say his final goodnights next year. He discussed his decision to retire at Thursday's taping of The Late Show and will reportedly issue a statement sometime before the episode airs. Former R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills, who was a guest on Letterman's Thursday show, broke the news via Twitter. CBS Evening News anchor Jeff Glor confirmed the news.
How David Letterman Reinvented TV
Letterman told the audience during the taping that he had informed CBS CEO Les Moonves of his decision, »
18 items from 2014
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