5 items from 2016
It’s a promising time to be a late-night talk-show host in contention for an Emmy: Old-timers David Letterman and Jon Stewart, who combined have won a record-breaking 22 Emmys, have retired their proverbial jersey numbers and there’s finally room for fresh talent to prove its mettle.
In addition to returning contenders Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, John Oliver and Stephen Colbert (in a different show), this year’s competition features a bevy of fresh options, with such comics as Samantha Bee, implementing her crackling political wit on her eponymous talk show, and James Corden, whose infectiously appealing carpool karaoke segments have gone viral.
The circus-like chaos pervading the presidential campaign has provided invaluable fodder for shows such as “Real Time With Bill Maher” and Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight.” His “Donald Drumpf” segment, which revealed the Republican candidate’s ancestral surname, broke HBO viewing records and had social-media feeds atwitter.
Ever-sarcastic Chelsea Handler entertained fans on her new Netflix show, and Jerry Seinfeld satisfied his love of witty banter and classic automobiles in season 7 of “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.” Larry Wilmore put a humorous spin on current events on his eponymous show.
“The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” (Comedy Central)
“Full Frontal With Samantha Bee” (TBS)
“Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC)
“Late Night With Seth Meyers” (NBC)
“Late Show With Stephen Colbert” (CBS)
“Real Time With Bill Maher” (HBO)
On The Bubble
“@midnight With Chris Hardwick” (Comedy Central)
“Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” (Crackle)
“Last Call With Carson Daly” (NBC)
“The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore” (Comedy Central)
“Watch What Happens Live” (Bravo)
- Variety Staff
NBC has promoted George Cheeks to president of business operations and late-night programming. The network veteran will now oversee all NBC late-night programming, including “Saturday Night Live,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “Late Night With Seth Meyers” and “Last Call With Carson Daly.”
Cheeks will also retain oversight of business affairs for NBC Entertainment, music services for NBCUniversal’s television portfolio, and production operations for Universal Television and Universal Cable Productions. He will continue to report to NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt.
“George is an enormous asset to this company and one of the most business savvy executives I know,” said Greenblatt. “He’s been vital to our continued growth at NBC in primetime and late night, which has brought us back to a leadership position among the broadcast networks. He has been a meaningful partner to me personally as well as to our incredible late-night talent, and his deep industry expertise and unique ability to close even the most complicated deals makes him our secret weapon. I’m thrilled George wants to continue to be a part of this winning team for the future.”
His promotion comes amid a reshuffling of NBC Entertainment’s executive leadership under Greenblatt. Last month, the company parted ways with Universal Television president Bela Bajaria, who was succeeded by NBC drama-development chief Pearlena Igbokwe.
Last week, NBC promoted alternative-programming head Paul Telegdy and his top lieutenant Meredith Ahr, forming a new unscripted studio that Ahr would lead under Telegdy’s supervision. As part of that move, Telegdy ceded oversight of NBC’s late night franchises, which Cheeks now takes ownership of.
Cheeks joined NBCUniversal in 2012 as executive vice president of business operations. Prior to that he spent 14 years at Viacom, eventually rising to the post of executive vice president, business affairs.
- Daniel Holloway
Ryan Kadro, who has worked with “CBS This Morning” as a top producer since the current edition of the program was in development in 2011, will become executive producer of the show as it continues to make strides in TV’s increasingly competitive morning-news wars.
He takes the helm of the program, which features Charlie Rose, Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell in a newsier edition of the typical TV-network morning show, at a heady time. Though “CBS This Morning” lags its main competitors, NBC’s “Today” and ABC’s “Good Morning America,” significantly in the ratings, it has been doing something those programs have not: gaining viewers. Season to date as of April 7, “CBS This Morning »
- Brian Steinberg
There’s no stopping NBC’s late-night duo of Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers, which last week dominated their talk-show competition in key demos even with encore airings. Since the start of the television season, the NBC hosts have now swept 25 of 25 weeks in both key demos and total viewers.
It continues to be a tight race, meanwhile, for second place behind Fallon at 11:35 p.m. between ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and CBS’ “Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” The former has been winning most recent weeks in the 18-49 demo (some very narrowly) while the latter has consistently placed second in total viewers. Colbert had a great opportunity to pick up new viewers with his huge platform following the network’s coverage of the Super Bowl on Feb. 7, but that never translated into any meaningful ratings boost.
Looking at the Nielsen estimates for the March 7-11 frame, “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon »
- Rick Kissell
In advance of its regular-timeslot premiere next Tuesday, ABC’s new family comedy “The Real O’Neals” generated solid sampling with its two special preview episodes on Wednesday, a night won by CBS as “Survivor” shot up without “American Idol” competition.
According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, ABC opened the night with a special 8 p.m. episode of “The Goldbergs” (2.0 rating/7 share in adults 18-49, 7.0 million viewers overall) and the first of two “Real O’Neal” episodes (1.8/6 in 18-49, 6.3 million viewers overall), with the shows combining for the same average of last week when both “The Middle” and “Goldbergs” delivered a 1.9 in their regular timeslots; they placed second to “Survivor” in most categories. “Goldbergs,” featuring a tribute to “Dirty Dancing,” was up 18% (0.2) week to week in 18-34 (1.3 vs. 1.1) and drew its largest overall audience since mid-November.
“Modern Family” (2.6/8 in 18-49, 8.2 million viewers overall) edged up for its highest rating in three weeks, »
- Rick Kissell
5 items from 2016
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