After a weeks long drought of fresh late night programming due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, our late night talkers are going back to work. Let’s not confuse this though. Our late night talk show hosts are going back to work. They’re just not going into the office.
Most of the network and basic cable hosts now have plans on how to bring America some new entertainment and they’ll be doing it from home. Let’s get caught up on how this new world of late night comedy will work.
Comedy Central was ahead of everyone else by getting the Daily Show with Trevor Noah back on the air last week with a new creation called “The Daily Social Distancing Show with Trevor Noah.” That’s going to continue this week on CC. Also, Lights Out with David Spade is staying off the air and will be pre-empted again this week by reruns of “The Office” and “South Park” on Comedy Central.
Conan O’Brien will be back tonight on TBS and he’s tying in a major sponsor. Team Coco will be doing their show by shooting it with iPhone technology. Apple is behind this and hoping that video shot on iPhone will be so impressive when Conan returns tonight that you’ll want to jump online and buy one. The company has bragged about their video quality and tonight on TBS, they’re out to prove it.
Conan is already doing paid promotion on social media with the hashtag #ConanAtHome which the show hopes catches on. The TBS late night series has booked one of the biggest names in comedy for Monday’s return who will appear via video chat and that’s Adam Sandler. That should cheer people up. On Thursday, Conan will be conferencing in Sean Hayes to talk about “Will & Grace” coming to an end….again.
Hosts Colbert, Kimmel and Fallon all started experimenting with YouTube content and adding it to their network shows last week while they’re all sitting home dodging the virus like the rest of us. Tonight, they’ll all still be sitting at home, but they will be back on the air.
At CBS, they’re calling it “Stephen Colbert From Home“. The network and the Late Show are also playing it cagey by not announcing any of Colbert’s guests prior to the show going on the air. It’s hard to tell if that’s because Stephen has some great guests he wants to keep as big surprises when they do their video call-ins or is it that so much could go wrong with the host and the guests being in separate remote locations, that they don’t want to risk saying who is appearing on the Late Show ahead of time?
In the 12:30am CBS time slot, the Tiffany Network and James Corden are keeping the Late Late Show in reruns for another week. Corden may want to see how it works out for other hosts before he jumps back on the air. The Late Late Show does have some great repeats planned.
Wednesday on the Late Late Show, you can catch an encore presentation of Lou Sanders’ stand up set. It’s a second chance to catch a great performance from one of Britain’s funniest exports and if you want more, there’s plenty to see at her site, LouSanders.com. On Thursday’s Late Late Show repeat, it’s the amazing Cedric the Entertainer and then Friday night, James Corden has the hilariously loud Billy Eichner on the a Late Late Show replay.
On NBC, Jimmy Fallon is back with new episodes of the Tonight Show. Jimmy is still at home obviously, so NBC will continue with the Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon: At Home Edition. Besides Jimmy chatting with video guests, all this week the Tonight Show will also include “Best of Fallon Moments” each night. On Wednesday, it’s Jimmy Fallon’s turn to get Adam Sandler on his show. Looks like the Sandman is making the rounds this week to help out our late night hosts. Oh, and to promote his film “Uncut Gems” now available On Demand.
Also on NBC, not a lot is being said on how Late Night with Seth Meyers is going to handle another quarantine week while everyone is self-isolating. All we know is that Monday night, Seth will have a new interview with Senator Bernie Sanders.
Seth has been doing Late Night: Social Distancing Editions with his signature bit, “A Closer Look” on the Late Night YouTube channel. These mini-rants are lasting anywhere from 5 to nearly 20 minutes and are being shot in different parts of Seth’s home.
Meanwhile at ABC, Jimmy Kimmel will be back with new shows from his isolation location starting on Monday, but he may want to stay off the air. Last week’s reruns of Jimmy Kimmel Live delivered huge ratings for the Kim-Man and ABC. His encore presentations of JKL were #1 in adult viewers 18 to 49 according to an ABC press release. And that was with a later start time of 12:05am because of network Coronavirus Pandemic coverage on “Nightline.”
Be sure to note that “Nightline” will continue its ABC News broadcasts each night this week as well. So, new episodes of Jimmy Kimmel Live this week will also have a later start time of 12:05am et. JKL kicks off the week on Monday with a guest that’s sure to lift everyone’s spirits, Tracy Morgan. Then on Wednesday, Kimmel has the “Modern Family” version of Laurel & Hardy when he welcomes Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet to JKL to talk about the series finale of their hit ABC sitcom.
Looking at the weekend, it was last Friday when Bill Maher tweeted that “Real Time will be back one week from tonight. Yes, from my backyard.” So, this Friday, we can all tune in to Real Time on HBO to see if Bill Maher is grilling while talking to his panel on different monitors.
Also, Saturday Night Live is still dark due to the pandemic. This week’s repeat is hosted by the dragulous RuPaul. If you didn’t catch it the first time squirrel-friends, it’s your chance to experience this SNL Eleganza Extravaganza all over again.
Stay safe. Stay home. And stay back at least 6 feet from your TV too. You’ll ruin your eyes.