King Of Late Night Miniseries Targets The Original Tonight Show Wars

By Katey Rich 2010-05-03 11:50:06 discussion comments
King Of Late Night Miniseries Targets The Original Tonight Show Wars image
Just when we all thought we dould move on from NBC's titanic series of miscalculations when shoving out Conan O'Brien in favor of Jay Leno back in January, Conan goes on 60 Minutes to bring all the bad memories back. But he's not the only one who wants to keep late-night wars on everyone's mind, and it's not just the Conan vs. Leno disaster that's coming back with a vengeance. Deadline Hollywood reports that a new miniseries The King of Late Night, based on the 1980 book The Tonight Show by Robert Metz, will chronicle the turbulent development process that led to The Tonight Show we know today.

Before Johnny Carson took the desk and made the show iconic, The Tonight Show was hosted by Steve Allen and Jack Paar; all three men are the centerpiece of the book and the upcoming series. As producer Kevin J. Cleary explained to Deadline, “Steve, Jack and Johnny all battled their personal daemons as well as network executives. Network executives have been screwing with talent for a long, long time; it hasn’t just been David Letterman, Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien. The only one who actually beat them at their own game was Johnny Carson who got to own the show.

Given the mid-50s and early-60s setting of the miniseries, the producers are already comparing it to Mad Men, which means wannabe Carsons and Paars ought to track down a skinny tie that suits them. There's really never been a time to revive the old-school late night drama, with The Tonight Show more prominent (if not more popular) than ever, and all of us jonesing for a little Johnny Carson. King of Late Night doesn't have a network to broadcast it yet, but the producers are apparently aiming for cable; your move, AMC>
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