Conan O'Brien, Jay Leno Bash NBC In Monologues
For an Australian, the most amazing thing about the late night TV scene in America is that it exists at all. 10 to 11 pm (Jay Leno's short lived slot) is considered prime time, and the reason he is being moved is because of the poor lead in ratings he is giving to the local news.
The late show slots start at 11.35, yet you get all this drama around who will do them when the incumbent is due to go.
Is Australia the only country in the world in which it seems no one expects there to be a significant TV audience after about 10.30? It's virtually impossible to imagine Australians being greatly concerned about what starts at 11.30 pm, especially on a weeknight.
The only reason I see these shows now is because cable TV here shows them from around 8.30 to 10.30.
And, incidentally, I remain puzzled as to why O'Brien has rated so poorly in his new slot. I thought he had toned down his sometimes irritating act to just the right degree, and Andy Richter and him are a likeable pairing, as far as these things go. He does remain a seriously strange looking guy though, if you ask me.
I've sort of given up on Letterman over the last couple of years, when it seemed clear to me that he was getting too serious about politics.
I know that the American TV schedule has been like that for decades (it was one of the things that really surprised me about it when I first visited), but I remain puzzled as to how the importance of such late night viewing evolved there.