- The Late Show (1986 TV series)
show_name = The Late Show
show_name_2 = "The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers"
Comedy/ Talk Show/ Variety
Monty Aidem Hank Bradford Stan Burns Londos D'Arrigo Wayne Kline Toem Perew Michael Prescott Daniel Rosen Dennis Snee Levi Taylor Patric Verrone
Fox Television Network
Joan Rivers Arsenio Hall Ross Shafer Suzanne Somers Richard Belzer Robert Townsend
Clint Holmes Daniel Rosen
Mark Hudson Michael Sembello
Jay Richard Kennedy
country = USA
language = English
Wanda Armstrong(assistant editor) Jay Richard Kennedy(music editor)
runtime = 60 minutes (including commercials)
network = FOX
picture_format = Color
October 6, 1986
October 28, 1988
related = "
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson"" The Arsenio Hall Show"
imdb_id = 0199237
tv_com_id = 3229
"The Late Show" was an American late night
talk showand the first series broadcast on the then-fledgling Fox Network. Originally hosted by comic actress Joan Rivers, it first aired on October 9, 1986, under the title "The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers".
The talk show was a direct attempt at competing against
NBC's seminal " The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson", and in fact Rivers had been for the previous few years the permanent guest hoston "Tonight", substituting for Carson.
Many in 1986, including top executives at NBC, thought it was possible that Johnny Carson would retire after reaching his 25th anniversary on
October 1, 1987, since it was such a logical cut-off point.
In the spring of 1986, a confidential memo between top NBC executives, listing about 10 possible replacements in the event of Carson's retirement the next year, was leaked. When Rivers saw it, she was shocked to see that she was nowhere on the list, despite the fact that she had been "The Tonight Show"'s permanent guest host since 1983.
Another rumor is that soon after, when Carson decided to stay beyond 1987, NBC offered him a three-year contract extension, but only offered Rivers a one-year extension as guest host.
Rivers and Carson become estranged
FOX was looking for a host for a late night talk show for the network's launch in October 1986 and offered Rivers the job at an increase in pay over her NBC salary. She accepted. Carson was blindsided by the news when he saw the press conference on television. Moments later, when Rivers called him at home, he refused to take the call.
Rivers was adamant that her problem was with NBC and not with Carson, who was like a father figure to her. She stated that she didn't want to tell him before the announcement was made because she was afraid FOX would cancel the deal if word leaked out.
Carson was furious. With other proteges who competed against him, such as
David Brenner, Alan Thicke, Joey Bishop, and Pat Sajak, Carson always had them on "The Tonight Show" beforehand to wish them luck, and again after he decimated them in the ratings and their shows were canceled. Carson said he felt betrayed by Rivers not because she dared to compete with him, but because she wasn't honest with him beforehand about her intentions and didn't ask him for advice and for his blessing.
Rivers spoke highly of Carson the night he died,
January 23, 2005, but she revealed that he never spoke to her again. She also maintained that she handled things the right way by not telling Carson of her plans ahead of time.
agging ratings and Joan Rivers' departure
After a moderate start, ratings for the talk show soon sagged, and the behind-the-scenes relations between Rivers and network executives at FOX quickly eroded, and she left the show in 1987. In 1987 and 1988, the show was renamed "The Late Show" and featured several hosts including
Arsenio Hall, Ross Shafer, Suzanne Somers, Richard Belzerand Robert Townsendbefore it was canceled in 1988.
The name "The Late Show" was revived by
CBSin 1993 for "The Late Show With David Letterman".
List of late night network TV programs
* [http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,962773,00.html The Late Nightlife Tonight Show]
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