Jimmy Fallon describes near amputation

15 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Are late-night talk shows doomed to go the way of soaps?.

The sea change that has roiled the late-night talk show scene in the last few years — with the retirement of both Jay Leno and David Letterman — masks a deeper problem: These shows are not the draw that they once were.

NEW YORK – “Tonight” show host Jimmy Fallon spent 10 days in a hospital intensive care unit after tripping in his kitchen and injuring a finger so badly it required six hours of microsurgery to save. The comic was back at work Monday for the first time following the June 26 accident in his New York home, wearing a cast on his left hand that extended nearly to the fingernail of his ring finger. A lackluster 2.7 million total viewers tuned in to “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” while Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” scraped by with a mere 1.8 million (both in the first quarter of 2015). And with Stewart’s departure just around the corner, the numbers for that show will inevitably be weakened with new host Trevor Noah (once the novelty wears off). But despite his ordeal, Fallon was able to joke about the experience. “I should say the fall was funny – I’m a comedian so I have to fall funny,” he said, adding that he had already drawn up plans for a new kind of ring.

Even stalwart enterprises such as “All My Children” and “One Life To Live,” which had been running for decades, were jettisoned for cheaper programming. He wasn’t kidding, as Fallon pulled out a paperback titled “Man’s Search for Meaning.” And he said it crystallized his own thoughts about what he should be doing. “This is the meaning of my life,” the 40-year-old comic said. “I belong on TV … if anyone’s suffering at all, this is my job. In 2015, only four soaps remain: “Days of Our Lives” on NBC, “General Hospital” on ABC, and “The Young and the Restless” and “The Bold and the Beautiful” on CBS. Of the quartet, “Y&R” has the biggest audience, with 4.8 million viewers, while “Days” and “GH” perform on a par with Kimmel, and “B&B” does as well as Fallon. When Johnny Carson hosted “The Tonight Show,” no one even thought of watching it the next day because it wasn’t possible — and he had 9 million viewers on an average night.

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