Reading today’s latest report on the upcoming shake-up in the late-night schedules–you know, Conan doing his last New York show tomorrow night; Jimmy Fallon replacing him March 2; Conan taking over The Tonight Show in June; Jay Leno moving to 10 p.m. in September–I’m starting to think more and more:
You know who might very well benefit most from all this? The two guys few people are talking about in this context: CBS’ David Letterman and Craig Ferguson.
Think about it for a sec. (And hey, wasn’t that interview with David Boreanaz amusing? Watch Bones, all new, tonight!) When NBC makes all these shake-ups, I think a lot of viewers are going to say, enough with all the shifting and the show-biz-political maneuvering. Where’s the stability? Where’s the quality you can count on?
I’m not knocking any of the NBC guys. I have an open mind about Fallon, I like Conan’s show and think his transition to The Tonight Show will be interesting, and believe Leno might actually be better at 10 p.m.–looser, funnier.
BUT: Letterman has been on a roll of late, and he loves to tackle new competition. And Craig Ferguson is increasing his viewership all the time, and has the most distinctive style of all of them right now–no one does celebrity interviews so free-wheelingly. (See above.)
What do you think? A few months from now, when all the moving boxes are unpacked in late-night, after all the new shows have been sampled by viewers, do you think Letterman and Ferguson just might benefit simply by staying put and doing the good work they’ve been doing?