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The Late Shift (TV Movie 1996) Poster

(1996 TV Movie)

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.
In this film, Bob Balaban played NBC President Warren Littlefield. He also played the character Russell Dalrymple on Seinfeld (1989), the NBC executive who was inspired by Littlefield.
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According to John Michael Higgins, after he was cast as David Letterman, he avoided watching Late Night with David Letterman (1982) because he did not want to do an impersonation of Letterman.
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Both David Letterman and Jay Leno were vocal in their disapproval of the film, with Letterman calling it "the single biggest waste of film since my wedding photos." In an interview he said his self-loathing tendencies were overplayed, in particular a scene where he throws baseballs at an archery target, and he also took issue with the orange/brown hair color given to the actor who played him, John Michael Higgins.
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The scenes in Michael Ovitz's office were filmed in Ivan Reitman's actual office.
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Anthony Heald was considered for the role of Michael Ovitz.
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Jimmy Brogan, the best friend of and head writer for Jay Leno for the first nine years of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (1992), was critical of Daniel Roebuck's performance as Leno, but was impressed by John Michael Higgins' performance as David Letterman.
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The film takes place from 1991 to 1993.
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