MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 2,620 this week

The Late Shift (1996)

TV Movie  -   -  Comedy | Drama | Talk-Show  -  24 February 1996 (USA)
7.0
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.0/10 from 2,120 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 2 critic

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 »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Instant Video

WATCH NOW
ON DISC

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: March

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in March.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 46 titles
created 01 Feb 2011
 
a list of 31 titles
created 26 Jun 2011
 
a list of 1019 titles
created 07 May 2012
 
a list of 7798 titles
created 20 Oct 2012
 
a list of 10 titles
created 12 Feb 2014
 

Related Items

Search for "The Late Shift" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Late Shift (TV Movie 1996)

The Late Shift (TV Movie 1996) on IMDb 7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Late Shift.
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.1/10 X  

A trio of beautiful private-duty nurses that practice more than the medical arts must confront underground drug traffickers, racism and murder in their local hospital.

Director: George Armitage
Stars: Katherine Cannon, Joyce Williams, Pegi Boucher
My Breast (TV Movie 1994)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Joyce Wadler,a journalist who lives in New York, has an unsatisfying relationship with her boyfriend. When she discovers that she is suffering from breast-cancer, she radically changes her ... See full summary »

Director: Betty Thomas
Stars: Meredith Baxter, Jamey Sheridan, James Sutorius
Miami Blues (1990)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

When Fred Frenger gets out of prison, he decides to start over in Miami, Florida, where he starts a violent one-man crime wave. He soon meets up with amiable college student/prostitute ... See full summary »

Director: George Armitage
Stars: Fred Ward, Alec Baldwin, Jennifer Jason Leigh
Hit Man (1972)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A lawyer whose brother was murdered winds up getting involved with gangsters and the world of porno movies.

Director: George Armitage
Stars: Bernie Casey, Pam Grier, Lisa Moore
The West Side Waltz (TV Movie 1995)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Margaret keeps her neighbours at a distance and avoids contact except with Cara. She enjoys her company just for making music since Cara plays the violin accompanying Margaret at the piano.... See full summary »

Director: Ernest Thompson
Stars: Shirley MacLaine, Liza Minnelli, Jennifer Grey
Comedy | Music | Talk-Show
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

David Letterman hosted this popular late-night comedy/talk-show. Often, Dave would go on location or to the phone lines to play pranks. Some famous features of the show include the "Top Ten... See full summary »

Stars: David Letterman, Paul Shaffer, Jerry Seinfeld
Private Parts (1997)
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The auto-biographical 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
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Martin Blank is a professional assassin. He is sent on a mission to a small Detroit suburb, Grosse Pointe, and, by coincidence, his ten-year high school reunion party is taking place there at the same time.

Director: George Armitage
Stars: John Cusack, Minnie Driver, Dan Aykroyd
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A man joins the political campaign of a smooth-operator candidate for president of the USA.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: John Travolta, Emma Thompson, Kathy Bates
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An eldery lady, living in (litterally) the middle if nowhere, and fed up with small minded apartheid ideology starts escaping into her own world of sculpting in her own back yard and along ... See full summary »

Directors: Athol Fugard, Peter Goldsmid
Stars: Kathy Bates, Yvonne Bryceland, Athol Fugard
A Number (TV Movie 2008)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A father is confronted by the sons he had cloned decades earlier. Based on a play by Caryl Churchill.

Director: James MacDonald
Stars: Rhys Ifans, Tom Wilkinson
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 »
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

A few days after the film's premiere, John Michael Higgins was booked on Late Show with David Letterman (1993) to talk about the movie and what it was like to portray Letterman. Higgins then sat in the green room as Letterman spent the next hour padding bits and doing filler, all the while promising Higgins was "coming up". At the end of the show Letterman apologized to Higgins for "running out of time", pointedly saying he hoped the actor could "come back again soon." Higgins was never re-booked. See more »

Goofs

When Letterman is doing his show, Robert Morton and Peter Lassally appear in the wings and speak to Letterman. In the next scene, the three are speaking in Letterman's office after the show and Lassally is wearing a different suit. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Gabriel Byrne/Alanis Morissette (1995) 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

 
Well done and good original movie dramatization that's funny and tense while taking a behind the scenes look at the late night TV wars of the early 90's.
31 May 2008 | by (Petersburg, Virginia) – See all my reviews

Over the years I've watched this movie many times from seeing it on "HBO" and I now own a copy on DVD. I must say it's very memorable and entertaining in the meantime it's interesting and educational too. As any TV fan can relate to the time of the early 90's when the time came up to replace Johhny Carson the TV living legend of "The Tonight Show" who's it gonna be Jay or Dave? This original film from HBO "The Late Shift" stays true to form and depicts the real events very well showing the behind the scenes battle between networks heads of NBC and CBS and even ABC they were all fighting for the services of Jay and Dave. The acting makes it seem real as very little actual TV footage is shown with real life people as the actors portraying Leno and Letterman make it seem so real. I haven't read the Bill Carter book so I don't know if it stayed true to the pages, but I have highly enjoyed this film over the years. From the moment when it starts showing CBS entertainment heads watching Leno sub for Johhny and they decide they want to get in on the late night game. Yet when Carson announces his unexpected retirement NBC wants to stay loyal with Leno yet conflict arrives when Letterman wants a crack at the slot at 11:30 too. It was fun to watch the wacky meeting with Michael Ovitz(Treat Williams)who makes all networks want to consider Letterman for a show. It was interesting to see the scene of Johhny telling Letterman by phone in a direct way to walk from NBC and consider CBS. And by the way Rich Little was terrific as Johhny Carson his portrayal couldn't be matched. And plenty of tense moments were provided by showing the bickering and firing of Leno's talent manager Helen which NBC heads pressured him to do. Overall great film that showed what TV is really like and it proves that networks are power and money hungry while showing that's it's a cutthroat business. Clearly there's no business like show business. Great work from HBO very memorable and a watch anytime it showed the true story of the late night wars.


8 of 8 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
sequal steven_winkler6
Why didn't NBC do this to keep Letterman??? JAlexa9898
Discuss The Late Shift (1996) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?