After NBC weatherman Al Roker ripped into Mayor Bill de Blasio for controversially keeping schools open during a blizzard earlier this month, the two buried the hatchet on a live episode of Today this morning.
Last night was the premiere of Jimmy Fallon’s tenure on The Tonight Show. How well you think he did will probably be entirely dependent on how much you live-tweeted the production. (All of it? Did you live-tweet all of it?) Sites like Buzzfeed and The Huffington Post did a fair job of chronicling every moment of the program, in case there was anyone on the Internet who felt super-strongly about the show but couldn’t get to a TV in time. We shouldn’t really have to recap very much for you.
The NBC interview of Bode Miller in which interviewer Christin Cooper all but twisted Mr. Miller’s skis off to get him to cry about his dead brother was television at its most exploitative and absolute worst.
So long, Sean Hayes! Goodbye, Michael J. Fox! According to Variety, NBC will be yanking both Sean Saves the World and The Michael J. Fox Show off the air after the Olympics. Though a rep from the network said that Fox isn’t canceled (they’re looking to schedule it after April 3rd), it’s not looking good for NBC’s “broad comedy” strategy. Did our brief affair with 90s nostalgia finally, mercifully end? Wha happened?
We love comedian Natasha Leggero, and not because she’s a native New Yorker. She held her own at the boy’s club that was James Franco’s roast last year, and her whole drawling socialite shtick enhances, rather than encumbers, her vitriolic material.
So let us just say, for the record, that the whole outrage over Ms. Leggero’s comments on NBC’s New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly broadcast felt kind of like a forced controversy First of all, Ms. Leggero and Jane Lynch, were asked about their thoughts regarding the latest Internet high-horsy scandal about something written on the SpaghettiOs Twitter account (oh, please bear with us), when the canned pasta company had tweeted “a picture of its SpaghettiOs mascot holding an American flag and asking people to ‘take a moment to remember #PearlHarbor with us.‘”
Late Night News
Thanks to the Internet, we can now watch some of the best shows that never were: Jack Black/Owen Wilson’s collaboration with Ben Stiller, Heat Vision and Jack; Scott Aukerman and BJ Porter’s The Right Now! Show; N.Y.P.D. Mounted (YES!) and many, many more. (Hey, Muholland Drive was a failed TV pilot.)
So at least Sarah Silverman’s NBC comedy Susan 313 is in good company. And now, thanks to the wonderful world we live, it’s available to watch online.
Around the town
Last night, Barack Obama was the guest on what appears to be a still-Jay Leno-hosted Tonight Show. Really? Who knew. Huh. Thought Jimmy Fallon had already taken over with all the fuss being made about him being named the successor to sit Johnny Carson’s old studio, but guess that’s not till February of next year. (Yes, we know Tonight with Leno still gets the best ratings.)
It was an odd show, mainly because it was such a serious show. Also, it was not a very funny show (despite it being President Obama’s birthday!). It seemed more like an episode of Larry King Live or Meet the Press, but with less interruption from the host. Really, P.O.T.U.S. just spoke about anything that was on his agenda–a lot of Snowden, a lot of Russia, a lot of Obamacare– with just occasional prompting from the all-to-eager Leno, whose ratings last night were the highest they’ve been since the last time Obama was on. Check out the segments, and analysis, below.
CBS went off the air last night for Time Warner subscribers, after the network and cable company failed to agree on a new contract. But the network was back on Time Warner within the hour and the contract deadline has been extended until 5 pm on Friday. (New York Times)
After NBC announced it will create a Hilary Clinton miniseries, CNN announced a made-for-TV movie about the former secretary of state. (Politico)
The Daily Beast asks the important question: Is Diane Lane too sexy to play Hilary Clinton in NBC’s miniseries? (Daily Beast)
The Tonight Show
I hate department stores. They remind me of being a chubby 12-year-old with braces being dragged around by her mother to try on bat-mitzvah dresses at the Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s located in the heart of Delaware’s Christiana Mall. (We eventually decided on an electric blue sleeveless number, and suffice to say I have vowed to burn the photobook of evidence the first chance I get.)
So sartorially misinformed was I that for many years I associated most department stores with the cheap and gawdy—obviously, I reasoned, most cool clothes come from stores that sold only their own brand, places like Ann Taylor, or Hot Topic. Up until embarrassingly recently, I didn’t understand what my so-called friends were driving at when they offered to take me shopping at Macy’s, Nordstrom’s or Bloomie’s. I just flashed back to Delaware and that blue dress and assumed that they were making some sort of ironic commentary on prom season.
But a girl can’t live in blissful ignorance forever, and by the time I was, oh, say, 28, I found out that, far from being tacky, New York’s haute couture was synonymous with, yes, Madison Avenue designer flagships, but also: Bergdorf’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and Barneys. I had never stepped into these hallowed halls of fashion. I had to take a Valium just to step into a Century 21, with its maze-like layouts, dressing room item limits and panic-inducing number of choices.
But I couldn’t wear jeans and sweaters with cat faces on them forever, and no matter how well that kitschy-cute skunk hat I had purchased last summer in South Dakota went over at a recent Broadway after party, I realized that eventually I would have to make peace with the luxury department store.
Wednesday’s official announcement from NBC that Jimmy Fallon will be replacing Jay Leno on The Tonight Show was the culmination of months worth of speculation, rumors and gossip. When the media learned that Mr. Fallon was not only moving the show back to New York, but would be hosting the program from Johnny Carson’s old studio, the comparisons between this latest drama and the bitter NBC late-night feuds in the past–Conan vs. Leno, Leno vs. Letterman–were inevitable, despite the network trying to play off the move as amicable. Hell, trying for the 11:30 (or now, technically, 11:35) slot on NBC is more of a political bloodsport than Game of Thrones, with at least twice as much backstabbing and allegiance shifting. (Though less decapitation … that we know of.)
Here are the five best rumors about the new Tonight Show, along with any responses from NBC or its players.