There are rumblings that NBC’s experiment with Jay Leno in prime time may be nearing an end. It appears Leno may get a 30-minute show at 11:35 p.m. EST, pushing back Conan O’Brien’s Tonight and Jimmy Fallon’s Late Night. Madeleine Brand gets the latest from Kim Masters, host of member station KCRW’s show, "The Business." http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122350739
This fall NBC scheduled Jay Leno’s new talk show five nights a week in primetime, getting rid of dramas at that hour. But Leno’s ratings took a nosedive almost immediately, hurting the lead in to the local news on many NBC affiliates. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122372384
When O’Brien took over for David Letterman on NBC’s Late Night, he had virtually no on-air experience. In a 2003 interview, O’Brien tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross about his efforts to fill Letterman’s shoes and how his Irish-Catholic repression fuels his comedy.
Elvis Mitchell hosts New York Times writer Bill Carter (The Late Shift, Desperate Networks) to talk about his latest book, The War for Late Night: When Leno Went Early and Television Went Crazy.
Carter talks contrasts the talents and motivations of talk show hosts, including Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien, and David Letterman, and Johnny Carson’s impact on all of them. Carter also provides insight into the networks and the expression “no one knows anything,” as he quotes various senior executives who “didn’t get” shows such as Survivor or The Office.