The War for Late Night: When Leno Went Early and Television Went Crazy

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Penguin, Nov 4, 2010 - Performing Arts - 432 pages
6 Reviews
A dramatic account of the politics and personalities behind NBC's calamitous attempt to reinvent late-night television.

When NBC decided to move Jay Leno into prime time to make room for Conan O'Brien to host the Tonight show-a job he had been promised five years earlier-skeptics anticipated a train wreck for the ages. It took, in fact, only a few months for the dire predictions to come true. Leno's show, panned by critics, dragged down the ratings-and the profits-of NBC's affiliates, while ratings for Conan's new Tonight show plummeted to the lowest levels in history. Conan's collapse, meanwhile, opened an unexpected door of opportunity for rival David Letterman. What followed was a boisterous, angry, frequently hilarious public battle that had millions of astonished viewers glued to their sets. In The War for Late Night, New York Times reporter Bill Carter offers a detailed behind-the-scenes account of the events of the unforgettable 2009/2010 late-night season as all of its players- performers, producers, agents, and network executives-maneuvered to find footing amid the shifting tectonic plates of television culture.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - numbernine - LibraryThing

I couldn't get enough of the Tonight Show saga when it was going on and this is an excellent narrative of the whole affair. Researched almost entirely through interviews by the author, it reads almost ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Rincey - LibraryThing

Disclaimer: I love Bill Carter and I find all of his books to be absolutely fascinating as I am obsessed with the television industry. If you're looking for some surprise ending, you don't need this ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Bill Carter joined The New York Times as a national media reporter in 1989. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Late Shift, two other books on the television industry, Monday Night Mayhem and Desperate Networks, and has written numerous articles for The New York Times Magazine and other publications. He has been a guest on Nightline, Today, CNN, Charlie Rose, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, and many other shows. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, he lives in New Jersey with his wife. They have two children.

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