Colbert says debut show was delivered to network with minutes to spare

11 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Colbert Comes Down to Earth In Second ‘Late Show’ Episode.

Long before Stephen Colbert kicked off his highly touted debut on CBS this week, Broadway shows were jockeying to be the first to perform on the new “Late Show.” Colbert, a graduate of Northwestern University’s drama department, has put out the word that he wants Broadway to be part of his New York-based program. It’s a fair question, one that I’ve been asked several times after expressing my disappointment with this week’s debut of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” The profoundly hyped first episode Tuesday was a giddy yet fundamentally formulaic iteration of your grandparents’ late-night talk show.According to Nielsen, Stephen Colbert’s second broadcast as host of CBS ’s “The Late Show” drew 3.7 million viewers, a 44% drop from the 6.6 million that watched his debut show on Tuesday.Colbert, opening his second program on Wednesday night, said that a combination of an overstuffed show that needed to be edited and a technical glitch temporarily prevented producers from sending the finished product to the network. “At 11:20 — and this actually happened — no one in the building could give me a guarantee that the show was going to be on the air,” he said. My wife and I, huge Colbert fans, were so underwhelmed that we turned to each other in resignation toward the end and sighed, “Oh, well,” or words to that effect.

Elizabeth Warren), actors with something to promote (Kerry Washington, Hugh Jackman), and a healthy dose of intellectuals of the type who would have appeared on The Daily Show or The Colbert Report (Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai, author Andrew Sullivan). EDT. “As I felt the oxygen begin to drain from my brain and all of my organs shutting down, I thought if we actually made it to air, this will be a pretty good story,” he said. “And if we don’t, it will still be a good story at the theater camp I will be running in Idaho.” Good thing for CBS that it was fixed, because viewers were curious.

Colbert’s debut averaged 6.6 million viewers, more than double what Jimmy Fallon had on NBC’s “Tonight” show, according to the Nielsen company. “Tonight” returned to the top spot Wednesday, with the help of one of Fallon’s rap duets with Justin Timberlake. “Tonight” had 4.1 million viewers and Colbert had 3.7 million, Nielsen said. After a rollicking debut show in which Colbert spent a full five minutes trashing the real estate magnate, it should be interesting to watch the two go head-to-head in an interview. Actress Scarlett Johansson was Colbert’s guest, the second straight night he featured a celebrity who also played a prominent role in predecessor David Letterman’s final run of shows. Monday through Thursday on the Comedy Central network, was among the shows that exposed the predictability and pretensions of standard post-prime time fare and offered something better, slyer, funnier, more relevant. I expected that he’d dispense with the opening stand-up monologue when he took over the 10:35 p.m. weeknight slot on CBS formerly occupied by David Letterman.

The program, which launched this week, is attempting to differentiate itself from competitors like “Tonight” and ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” by booking politicians, government officials and other guests who don’t necessarily hail from Hollywood and the world of entertainment. Appearances on the late-night shows are valued not because they sell tons of tickets — they don’t — but because they “raise awareness,” says a press agent. “It lodges the title in the minds of tourists, and it can help if you’re planning a national tour.” Fallon, who moved “The Tonight Show” to New York from Los Angeles, is a big Broadway booster. This standard element, filled with middlebrow topical japes, steered the national conversation generations ago when Johnny Carson ruled late night and viewers had only a handful of channels to choose from. James Corden, of “The Late Late Show,” is a Broadway baby who won a Tony for “One Man, Two Guvnors.” But he’s in Los Angeles, so it makes no financial sense to send a bunch of cast members out there for a performance.

Colbert is best when seated at his desk, where he began his previous show, going a little deeper into the news of the day than “Hey, did you hear the story about …?” And I expected he’d begin there. Colbert’s arrival from Comedy Central where he hosted “The Colbert Report” to CBS where he is succeeding David Letterman had been heavily hyped and there was a curiosity factor around his first broadcast. The studio audience may enjoy the energy of live instrumentals, particularly during commercial breaks, but recorded intro music would be fine for those of us at home and allow more airtime for the featured entertainment. He did give a long plug one night to a revival of “The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby” when it played LA, but it had no effect on the anemic box office.

But for his opening night he chose George Clooney, 54, an overexposed Hollywood idol, and John Ellis “Jeb” Bush, 62, the blandest of the Republican presidential hopefuls. A hip comic, an edgy actor or compelling activist would have been a signal that Colbert intends to elevate the banal late-night discourse to which we have either become accustomed or, in my case, that we have studiously avoided. I expected his pre-taped comedy would have better production values than one of those thrown-together skits you see during the last half-hour of “Saturday Night Live,” given that he had nearly nine months to prepare. Letterman moved from 12:35 a.m. on NBC to CBS at 11:35 p.m., he won the ratings race against then “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno for almost two years.

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