A dramatization of the rivalry to be the successor of Johnny Carson as the host of "The Tonight Show."

Director:

Writers:

(book), (teleplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $9.99 on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Director: Tobias Weber
Stars: Joe Sowerbutts, Haruka Abe, Richard Durden
Breast Men (TV Movie 1997)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A movie about two doctors who created breast implants as this follows them over the years. However, when success and money come their way, they separate and follow different paths.

Director: Lawrence O'Neil
Stars: David Schwimmer, Chris Cooper, Emily Procter
Private Parts (1997)
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The autobiographical story of Howard Stern, the radio rebel who is now also a TV personality, an author and a movie star.

Director: Betty Thomas
Stars: Howard Stern, Mary McCormack, Robin Quivers
Clear History (TV Movie 2013)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A disgraced former marketing executive plots revenge against his former boss, who made billions from the electric car company they started.

Director: Greg Mottola
Stars: Larry David, Bill Hader, Philip Baker Hall
Late Shift (2013)
Short | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

A lonely third shift worker's life snaps out of the mundane when he offer a ride to a young prostitute.

Director: William Smyth
Stars: Derek McLaurin, Tiff Roma
Game Change (TV Movie 2012)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

This searing, behind-the-scenes look at John McCain's ill-fated 2008 presidential campaign follows the daring plan to add Sarah Palin to the ticket and the implosion that would soon follow.

Director: Jay Roach
Stars: Ed Harris, Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson
The Rat Pack (TV Movie 1998)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A look at the famous "Rat Pack" of the '60s, and how their glamorous alliances and carefree sophistication created a mythical lifestyle.

Director: Rob Cohen
Stars: Ray Liotta, Joe Mantegna, Don Cheadle
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Unprecedented access to the New York Times newsroom yields a complex view of the transformation of a media landscape fraught with both peril and opportunity.

Director: Andrew Rossi
Stars: David Carr, Sarah Ellison, Larry Ingrassia
Comedy | Music | Talk-Show
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Host Johnny Carson performs comedy routines and chats with various celebrities.

Stars: Johnny Carson, Ed McMahon, Skitch Henderson
Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Apple. Intel. Genentech. Atari. Google. Cisco. Stratospheric successes with high stakes all around. Behind some of the world's most revolutionary companies are a handful of men who (through... See full summary »

Directors: Daniel Geller, Dayna Goldfine
Stars: Bill Bowes, Herbert Boyer, Po Bronson
Cinema Verite (TV Movie 2011)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A behind-the-scenes look at the making of the first American family to be the subjects of a reality TV show.

Directors: Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini
Stars: Diane Lane, Kaitlyn Dever, Tim Robbins
In the Shadow of Evil (TV Movie 1995)
Drama | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Jack Brenner is a hot-shot cop on the trail of a serial killer known as The Roper. Just as he's getting close to catching the killer, he is injured and develops amnesia. Dr. Molly Nostrand ... See full summary »

Director: Daniel Sackheim
Stars: Treat Williams, Margaret Colin, Joe Morton
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Rod Perth
...
Howard Stringer
...
John Agoglia
...
...
...
...
Bob Wright
...
Sandra Bernhard
...
...
Alan Levine
...
Rick Ludwin
Edit

Storyline

HBO movie about the behind-the-scenes network politics responsible for the changes in late-night talk-show hosts, after the retirement of Johnny Carson from the Tonight Show on NBC. Jay Leno and David Letterman were both vying for the position, but Leno's tough manager Helen Kushnick got him the spot. In the wake of her 'stepping on the toes' of powerful network executives and 'playing hardball' tactics with guest bookings, she found herself being pushed out of her job as Tonight Show Executive Producer and Jay's manager. Letterman, devastated by his being passed over, brought in superagent Mike Ovitz to negotiate on his behalf, resulting in his move to CBS. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Two heads fighting for the late night crown - One head's gotta roll. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 February 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Changement de décors  »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Bob Balaban who played NBC President Warren Littlefield, played the character Russell Dalrymple on the series, Seinfeld who is an NBC executive who was inspired by Littlefield. See more »

Goofs

A shot of a limousine driving down a NYC street is in fact a shot taken from the 1987 film "The Secret of My Success". Michael J. Fox's plaid shirt is visible through the window as he sits in the driver's side of the limo. See more »

Quotes

Reporter #3: Are you gonna kick Jay Leno's ass?
David Letterman: I'll kick your ass.
See more »

Connections

References L.A. Law (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

There's No Business Like Show Business
Performed by Ethel Merman
Written by Irving Berlin
Irving Berlin Music Company
Courtesy RCA Victor Red Seal Division of BMG Classics
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A great look behind the scenes
18 December 2004 | by (Paris) – See all my reviews

as a former TV editor, I can say this is as authentic as it gets. It even led to Letterman's producer (thought to be a source) resigning (eventually) in real life. Letterman was outraged (OK, so one goofy thing is it has him throwing softballs at a tire swing on his estate; total fabrication) but the main information is hilariously true, from the silly bidding war for Letterman once he decided to leave NBC to Leno's problems with an agent who was not ready for big time, but who he let run the show (almost to a disastrous exit) out of his famed loyalty. If any of you kids don't grasp the idea of why Letterman is jealous to this day, see this tape.


16 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why I think Letterman was not offered the tonight show JAlexa9898
What if Johnny Carson had done this JAlexa9898
Treat Williams BEST performance xabat77
My favorite Kathy Bates performance EVER!!! jcouncil-1
Talked 19990305
sequal steven_winkler6
Discuss The Late Shift (1996) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?