Essentially, this was the show that everyone was tuning into after The Not-Ready-For-Primetime-Players left Saturday Night Live. SNL's new cast was bombing badly, with only two cast members gaining any recognition (Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscopo). Fridays was doing well, until reality intruded in the form of Nightline with Ted Koppel. Originally, Koppel's news show was simply an update to the Iranian Hostage Crisis. Each night ABC would begin a summation of the days events in Iran immediately after the local news. Koppel's show became a permanent fixture, and was expanded to a full hour. Rather than start the show on Fridays at 12:30am, ABC tried to move the show to primetime, at 8pm, and on a different day of the week, no less! The last latenight episode featured Melanie Chartoff and Brian Mahler remaining in character but going off script and complaining about going to primetime. And they were right. The latenight audience did not find them, and the show was cancelled shortly ... Written by
Did You Know?
During one memorable episode, broadcast live, guest star Andy Kaufman
broke character during a sketch. He got into a shoving match with Michael Richards
which degenerated into an on-camera brawl. It was later revealed that this was a set-up and Kaufman and some of the brawl participants and the cast were in on the gag, but most of the crew were caught completely off-guard. Melanie Chartoff discusses this in an interview with David Brody found on Youtube. See more
Spoofed in SCTV: Thursday Night Live