Monday, January 25, 2010

TV Frost Bites With Conan, Leno, Kimmel, Letterman and More

(Andy Dick in his "does my ass look big in this" orange jail jumpsuit)

Late Night Frost Bite: The last two weeks of late night television has been exciting to watch. Everyone knew that Conan O’Brien’s “Tonight Show” days were numbered at NBC, but it was how the network pulled the plug on the show and how the other talk show hosts reacted to it that made for interesting viewing.

First, NBC pulls the plug on Jay Leno’s 10pm fiasco and instead of just letting him walk (like they would any other star of any other show), they give Jay the option of doing a half-hour show in his old time slot and then they inform Conan O’Brien that his “Tonight Show” will begin at 12:05 (which would in reality make it the “Tomorrow Show”). How did Conan react? He informed NBC that he wouldn’t do the show if they pushed it up a half hour for he felt that to do so he would be participating in the destruction of a legendary TV franchise. So, now the ball was in NBC’s court and their next move was to fire Conan and rehire Jay Leno to do the Tonight Show once again and that’s when the other talk show hosts got involved in the controversy.

It has long been rumored that there was some bad blood between David Letterman and Jay Leno, but it never became more public than these last two weeks. Letterman has taken every opportunity he could to make fun of NBC executives and then went to work on Jay Leno with some stinging “inside baseball” comments that painted a picture of that Leno isn’t “Mr. Nice Guy” that he wants everyone to believe he is.

One of the more awkward moments over the last couple of weeks happened when ABC talk show host Jimmy Kimmel was a guest on the “10 @ 10” segment on Leno’s prime-time program the night after he did his entire show in Jay Leno make-up. During the writer’s strike of a couple of years back, you would have thought that Leno and Kimmel were the best of friends with each of them appearing on each other’s show – but the whole late night mess at NBC and what was happening with Conan changed all of that. Some of the responses to Leno’s 10 questions had the audience literally gasping and at one point it even looked as if Leno was getting pissed by what Kimmel was saying. At times it was even uncomfortable to watch, only because we usually don’t get to see emotions this raw being played out like this on national television.

Conan did his final “Tonight Show” on Friday and NBC will be re-running some of the programs that he did in the last seven months until their coverage of the Winter Olympics begin.

And Jay Leno – he’s going to be doing what any famous person would do when their career and reputation is damaged – he’s going to appear on Oprah this week. Will Leno be honest about his relationship with Letterman? Will he address his uncomfortable moment with Kimmel on his show? And will he address some of the mistakes that he made going to 10pm? About the only thing that we can expect from Leno’s appearance on Oprah will be that Oprah will throw more softball (questions) at Leno in one hour than your kid’s little league team throws in an entire week.

In the surprise that it doesn’t surprise you news department: Comedian Andy Dick was arrested this past weekend in West Virginia on two counts of felony sexual abuse for allegedly grabbing the crotch of a bouncer in a bar. Andy Dick was recently one of the celebrities “cleaning up their act” on one of Dr. Drew’s VH-1 Rehab shows and is no stranger to things like he’s being accused of doing in West Virginia. In 2008, Dick pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery and pot possession after he pulled down a 17-year old girl’s top at a chicken wing restaurant. My prediction is that chances are pretty good we’ll be seeing Dick on Dr. Drew’s Celebrity Rehab next season – only because he doesn’t have the mojo in his career to warrant an Oprah appearance.

“What you say, Willard?” TMZ is reporting that Gary Coleman, the diminutive star of TV’s “Different Strokes”, was arrested this weekend in Utah on a misdemeanor charge of domestic assault. Like Andy Dick, Gary Coleman isn’t immune to a brush or two with the law within the last couple of years. He recently settled a lawsuit after he allegedly hit a man’s car at a bowling alley in Utah. Then Gary Coleman’s wife was arrested after an incident of domestic violence that was later chronicled when they both appeared on a 2008 episode of “Divorce Court”. And like me, you’re wondering, where’s Dr. Phil when it comes to someone like Gary Coleman….well, Gary’s career doesn’t have enough mojo in it to warrant a Dr. Phil appearance…but it’s big enough to warrant a mention here….what the hell.

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