All Articles Tagged "Late Night"

From Day To Night: Why Can’t There Be More Black Late-Night Television Hosts?

February 21st, 2014 - By Candace Smith
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Arsenio demanded an apology for the oversight in Brian Williams' news segment on late-night TV.

Arsenio demanded an apology for the oversight in Brian Williams’ news segment on late-night television.

This past Sunday The New York Times published an article about late-night television hosts. Thus far there was a very well-known face missing from the lineup that includes Jimmy Fallon, Chelsea Handler, and Seth Meyers- the incomparable Arsenio Hall. Producers of NBC News also freshly compiled a photo montage of successful late-night hosts, and once more Arsenio’s mug was missing. “If you’re doing a story about late night, all I ask is that you mention me,” Hall kindly asked. Brian Williams ultimately apologized for the slight.

The images of Johnny Carson and David Letterman are synonymous with late-night television. Nevertheless, how can we forget the likes of Arsenio Hall, whose influence from the 80s into the 90s in the entertainment business should not be overlooked? From his flat-top haircut to his signature fist pump in the air coupled with that “Whoo! Whoo!” chant, Arsenio Hall, in the words of journalist Neil Drumming, brought hip-hop to late night.

But is bringing hip-hop to late night television that bad for business? If you look at the flip-side of daytime TV, diversity is all around. Wendy Williams, Steve Harvey, Whoopi and Sherri Shepard of The View, Queen Latifah, Michael Strahan, Cedric the Entertainer, the ladies of The Real, Aisha Tyler and Sheryl Underwood of The Talk, and Carla Hall of The Chew are all representing. The Los Angeles Times even ran two articles in November of last year analyzing the bankability of Black stars on daytime talk show and how different the landscape is for them when the sun goes down. So what are mainstream media giants like NBC and The New York Times trying to tell us by omitting Arsenio Hall’s contributions from their features? Was Hall a victim of human error or something greater?

There’s no excuse for not having more diversity in late-night when there are mega-talented performers such as Mindy Kaling, Lucy Liu, Kerry Washington, Gabrielle Union, Don Cheadle, Nicole Beharie, and Dule Hill lighting up small screens on a weekly basis. Not to mention the brilliant behind-the-scenes storytellers like Shonda Rhimes and the unstoppable duo of Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil. Yet, there is more at stake, according to the head of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA, Darnell Hunt, who states that “network executives almost always favor white leads for primetime shows” as they look for “the broadest possible appeal.” Appeal equals more butts on couches, which equals higher ratings week after week, which equals more advertising dollars.

The game of television is finicky, as audiences never know which of their favorite shows may get abruptly canceled due to poor ratings. Network television executives are less likely to take a chance on something or someone who is unproven and many times will make hiring decisions based on popularity. There are many good reasons why Mariah Carey was paid $17 million for her stint as a judge on American Idol and the fact that she did bring ratings and prestige to the reality show was one of them.

So, who in “Black Hollywood” can bring esteem and money to television networks in late-night? Should the next historic opportunity arise, this person may have to demonstrate their worth alongside established personalities like Craig Ferguson, Carson Daly, and Stephen Colbert, and wonder if this journalistic oversight isn’t indicative of something else.

No One Listened To Us: Seth Meyers Will Be The New Host Of “Late Night”

May 13th, 2013 - By Tonya Garcia
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(Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

(Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Despite our repeated requests for consideration for Aisha Tyler, NBC has announced that Saturday Night Live alum Seth Meyers will be taking over for Jimmy Fallon when he moves to The Tonight Show next year. “No premiere date has been announced, but NBC has said Leno’s exit and Fallon’s debut will coincide with the Winter Olympics coverage in 2014,” says CNN. That would be in February.

You probably recognize Meyers from the SNL “Weekend Update” anchor chair. The 39-year-old has been with that show for 12 years. This also puts him in line to be the next host of The Tonight Show, but there’s a long way to go for that.

Related, Lorne Michaels, the executive producer of SNL will also be behind the scenes at both The Tonight Show and Late Night. Both shows will be in New York now, so there’s more opportunity to sit in on a live audience.

Will you be tuning in?

Jimmy Fallon To Take Over ‘The Tonight Show’ And Move It To NYC So He Can Hang On To The Roots

March 21st, 2013 - By Tonya Garcia
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AP Photo/NBC Universal, Lloyd Bishop

AP Photo/NBC Universal, Lloyd Bishop

It’s looking more and more likely that Jay Leno will be giving up his place as host of The Tonight Show, turning it over to Late Night host (and viral video hit maker) Jimmy Fallon. The details haven’t been worked out, but The New York Times is saying this could happen by fall 2014. And the show would leave Los Angeles and head back to New York, where it started in 1954.

“One senior executive who has been involved in the discussions said on Wednesday that ‘there is no way on earth that this is not going to happen,'” one source told the Times.

One of the reasons the paper says Fallon wants to stay in NYC is to hang on to his stellar house band, The Roots. Many of Fallon’s most popular jokes, skits, and videos involve Questlove and the crew, so this is an important part of the show. Moreover, Fallon is from New York and has deep roots of his own in the city.

Jay Leno remains strangely popular, topping the ratings for the past few years. The question Buzzfeed asks is why everyone — except those viewers who keep Leno on top — dislike him so much. Some of the general perceptions of the host that are used in the story include “moral cowardice,” “sniveling backstabber,” and “modern milquetoast.”

“The combined effect of all these sins was to set in stone an animus towards Leno that nothing can touch. To be a thinking or cool person in America is to hate Jay, and like Dave, or Conan, or Kimmel, or Jon Stewart: anyone in the long line of talk show hosts breaking off a niche of the stratifying media world by being edgier and cooler than Leno,” the article says. Eeek.

Do you still watch late night network TV? Would Jimmy Fallon bring you back?

That’s Fine By Us: Sources Say Jay Leno Could Be Replaced By Jimmy Fallon

March 5th, 2013 - By Tonya Garcia
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Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

NBC could be preparing to announce Jay Leno’s departure from the 11:35 p.m. late night spot he’s occupied for years. According to The Hollywood Reporter’s sources, Jay Leno has a contract through 2014 and would be “reluctant” to leave (remember that whole Conan O’Brien thing), but there are fears that ABC’s decision to move Jimmy Kimmel to the competing position has NBC on edge. Kimmel is taking some of the 18-to-49 demographic that is so important for advertisers. (Leno still leads in the ratings, unbelievably.)

Moreover, if David Letterman does step down after his contract is up in 2014, it could be an opening for even more competition, with CBS likely picking a replacement that will attract those coveted younger viewers.

Execs at NBC deny that any change is planned.

Aisha Tyler. (Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP)

Aisha Tyler. (Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP)

Personally, I’m all about The Daily Show and Colbert around this time, but if we have to choose, Jimmy Fallon is the more exciting of the late-night hosts (with Letterman running a close second). From dancing with the First Lady, to his great musical guests, to his Downton Abbey spoof “Downton Sixby,” he’s so much funnier now than he had even been on SNL.

But, why can’t a woman or a minority take one of these late-night spots? Is Chelsea Handler really the only game in town? Has anyone checked in with Aisha Tyler lately?

That’s Our First Lady: Michelle Obama Hits Her Dougie on ‘Jimmy Fallon’

February 23rd, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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"MOJF"

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Where were you the night First Lady Michelle Obama broke out into the dougie on national television?

On Friday night, Michelle Obama took to the talk show scene when she made her first appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. She was there to promote her “Let’s Move” initiative and before they sat down to talk, Mrs. Obama and Fallon (as a woman) performed a nifty number described as “The Evolution of Mom Dancing.” The dances ranged from “The Hip Bump to the “Just the hands part of the Single Ladies Dance” and finally, “the Dougie,” which “Mama Fallon” sat out because it was a bit too advanced for “her.”

After the dance performance, Mrs. Obama sat down with Fallon to discuss the strides they’ve made with the “Let’s Move” initiative, including Wal-Mart lowering prices on fruits and vegetables as well as the obesity rate of children in Mississippi being lowered by 13 percent since “Let’s Move” kicked off three years ago.

While Jimmy Fallon shared with Mrs. Obama his wishes to see a Clinton/Obama (Michelle, that is) presidential ticket in 2016, the First Lady said she has her own plans: to possibly take over as host of Jay Leno’s show whenever he decided it was time to retire.

For whatever some may think of President Obama, you’ve got to work really hard to dislike the First Lady – she’s just so likeable!

Check out “The Evolution of Mom Dancing” below!