The War for Late Night - Bill Carter

The War for Late Night

By Bill Carter

  • Release Date: 2010-11-04
  • Genre: TV
4.5 Score: 4.5 (From 229 Ratings)
    e-Book format      Check For Availability Audiobook format   Check For Availability

Description

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.

Reviews

  • Good Read

    4
    By PPLS CHAMP
    Very interesting look at why late-night TV is the way it is. Love how in-depth the author is able to get into what really happened. Not as fluid of a read as I'd like. Would have enjoyed more of a novel like experience.
  • Interesting

    5
    By SteveHodges
    An interesting view into show business at its worst, and a man who wanted nothing more then what a company promised him.. Then took away.
  • Reaches its target audience, albeit a small audience

    4
    By Kevinwilson16
    This is a real "inside baseball" type of book about late night TV. It gives real voice to the people involved, whether they're the hosts or the executives. If you were loyal to one particular host going in, you will still back your guy; you just won't have as much bile for the other party as you did before. It's not really a book you pick up just so you have something different to read. The target reader for this book is seeking specific information on late night TV, and this book fills its lanes quite well.
  • Answers Most Questions

    5
    By passkey
    I do not agree with Mr. Seinfeld. Conan did the right thing. Zucker was wrong. Leno is past his prime (whatever that was). I hope Letterman gives Conan The Late Show and then Conan can take his rightful place as the king of late night But what do I know, I'm just a viewer. Nobody ever asked me.
  • The Late Late Night

    4
    By TowleTompkins
    The battle for late night television supremacy may be a trivial matter to some, but Bill Carter does a masterful job of turning the battle among Leno, O'Brien, and NBC into a compelling read. For fans of late-night comedy, the final chapter is thought-provoking because it crystalizes how ultimately futile all the jockeying for power, money, ego, and career will seem ten years from now. Quite an entertaining read.
  • It's all business. No hard feelings ok?

    5
    By modernrockstar
    Loved every page! The book was extremely entertaining and informative. It goes into great detail of how the whole Leno Conan Late Night show imploded. There are lots of inside information, some I found shocking, like Zucker exploding on the phone over Conan's agent. During the chapters of when Jay was placed back at 11:30 and Conan ousted, my fist were clenched and ready to punch every face at NBC for having no class. In the end, even though what Conan did was right, the main message of the book is that the Tonight Show had lost all meaning and that it's just a business. I still find it hard to believe someone as passionate about it like Conan could ever separate business from his love of the show.
  • Fair and Entertaining

    5
    By davegrindhouse
    A great book that I felt was fair to everyone involved. I'm far from a Leno fan, but after reading this I view him in a better light.
  • I like

    4
    By ryanjla
    Finally finished. Good book about this generations late night war.
  • LOVED IT!!!

    5
    By Carlos Oviedo
    I loved this book. It was written awesome and I loved all the insight and behind the scenes dealings. I was fascinated with the entire late night debacle...this book brings my fascination full circle...must read!!
  • Good, not great

    3
    By TGskull13
    A well written and researched story. A bit biased towards Conan's side of the story (and I'm a huge Conan fan), but overall it presents a good and fair account of what took place. My only issue with the book is that it veers off on tangents, such as presenting detailed bios on several other late night hosts, many of whom were not central to the story. Consequently, the book didn't flow as well as it should have, and I found myself waiting for it to return to the central theme: Jay, Conan, and NBC. The story could have been told in 100 fewer pages.

Comments