Letterman's Top Ten List

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Scott-S, Jun 15, 2007.

  1. Scott-S

    Scott-S Cinematographer
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    I have started to watch Letterman again now that I can record it in HD [​IMG]

    I have noticed something I wanted to ask about.

    Every show he states that "we'll be right back with tonights top ten list". Then some shows, they never show a top ten list. What gives. I am starting to think my local affiliate is putting local commercials on at the time the list is done.

    My first question is: Does Dave do a top ten list every night?

    If so, is it a normal thing for local affiliates to just remove parts of a show to put in commercials?

    I record it every night and watch it the next day. I only seem to see the top ten list 2 times a week. I just re-watched last nights again without skipping and there was definitely no top ten list.
     
  2. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    I've never seen a Letterman show without a Top 10. I've checked the archives, and there is one for every show for quite some time going back (cbs.com/lateshow )
     
  3. Mike Slade

    Mike Slade Second Unit

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    There was a show a few weeks a go where they didn't have a Top 10 list. I went and checked the next day on cbs.com to make sure I didn't miss it and it said there was no top 10 that night. That was the first time I could ever remember there not being one. Although I can't say for certain it hasn't happened before.

    The one I'm thinking of may have been May23rd. There is no top ten for that day but there is one on the 22nd and 24th
     
  4. Matt_Vaudrin

    Matt_Vaudrin Stunt Coordinator

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    One thing I've noticed that happens a lot, is that he doesn't get to the top ten right when they come back from commercials.

    He'll say "We'll be right back with the top ten". But then when they come back, he'll continue with whatever he was talking about before the break or talk to Paul about something for a few minutes before getting to the top ten.

    Also, sometimes the top ten will be after the first guest.
     
  5. Scott-S

    Scott-S Cinematographer
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    I re-watched thursday's show and verified there was no top ten list segment shown here in SLC.

    It is easy to find, even if skipping/fast forwarding because they have those animated countdown things they show right before he reads the list.

    Sigh. Yet another thing I am getting screwed over on be being in Utah.
    First, no Saturday Night Live, now other shows being edited to fit in more commercials.

    I don't get how CBS or the producers of the Letterman Show allow stations to randomly edit out parts and just show commercials.
     
  6. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    Perhaps the station is doing it without their consent.
     
  7. Scott-S

    Scott-S Cinematographer
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    I just watched Friday's show and it also had no Top Ten List. I notice that the show starts about 3 minutes late every night for the local news to run long. I guess they are cutting out the top ten list to make up that time.

    I sent an email to the folks at the Letterman show. I doubt it will get read, but I have to try something.
     
  8. David Norman

    David Norman Producer
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    That's unfortunate to say the least. Years ago local stations were doing that to The Tonight Show and when Carson found out about it he had NBC bascially crack down on the stations and force them to stop editing his show to place extra commercials. I forget if they would have been fined, lost theit FCC license, or if NBC threatened to pull their affiliation agreement, but it was apparently quite harsh and all the stations soon quit the practice.

    Carson was so upset he made mention of it during his monologue and had people send in the names of the stations that were doing that and actually read the names of some of them on the air to really put some pressure on those stations. Unless the rules have changed or your local has special permission to edit the show, then my guess is there is a way to get them to change.
     
  9. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Producer

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    The CBS station in Tampa didn't show the top 10 list Friday night even though Dave mentioned it was coming up. There was the presidential bit, Fun Facts, then Michael Moore.
     
  10. Scott-S

    Scott-S Cinematographer
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    Looks like maybe Salt Lake isnt the only place doing it. I don't know if that makes me feel better or worse.

    We will see if my email to the show will get a reply.... I bet they get thousands of emails a day, so they are probably not even read. [​IMG]
     
  11. MatthewLouwrens

    MatthewLouwrens Producer

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    Looking at the Wahoo Gazette episode summary for Friday night's show with Michael Moore, it looks like theydidn't have a Top Ten. If Dave mentioned a Top Ten, perhaps the show overraan and they cut it (that happens occasionally) but the Wahoo Gazette usually mentions it if they do that.

    On the subject of stations messing with Letterman, I thought I would share a couple of frustrating occurances from the way it airs here in New Zealand.

    Late last year, there was an episode where they did "Who Asked For It?", where a fake audience member asks a question of Dave and we get a comedy response.
    So one question was about whether Dave ever plugs products. Dave said No, the woman sat down, and the next question was asked. I was sitting there thinking "Where was the joke?"
    Next day I looked it up on the Wahoo Gazette, and discovered that, immediately after they asked that question, they did a joke promotional bit for a certain brand of cigarettes. My guess is that, because you are not allowed to advertise cigarettes on TV in New Zealand, they cut out the promotional bit, thus omititng the entire joke.

    The other frustrating event came this week. There's an NZ muscal comedy duo I rather enjoy called Flight of the Conchords that appeared on the Monday episode to promote their new HBO show. Now, it's not very often that people from NZ actaully appear on Letterman. Plus, this same week, the same station that airs Letterman has been making a big deal about having acquired the rights for the FotC HBO show. So you would think they would show this one particular episode, wouldn't you.
    I turn on the TV to watch, only to find that they took Letterman off that particular night to show showing delayed coverage of an Australian rugby league match. Boo!
     
  12. Kevin Hewell

    Kevin Hewell Cinematographer

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    We're not allowed to advertise cigarettes here in the States either so I don't know why it was cut in NZ.
     
  13. MatthewLouwrens

    MatthewLouwrens Producer

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    My guess - overzealous self-censorship to avoid complaints.
     
  14. obscurelabel

    obscurelabel Stunt Coordinator

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    Regarding the Top Ten lists ... I remember a stretch of a couple of weeks when they didn't have one (may have ben many years ago, but it was during the CBS era). I think I remember reading that Dave thought it needed a rest and also didn't want to have to do it every night. But for the past few years, it has been virtually every show.
     
  15. Michelle Schmid

    Michelle Schmid Stunt Coordinator

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    I wouldn't automatically assume that SLC is cutting the Top 10 list to air more commercials, although of course that is a possibity. Utah is kind of a different state (nothing meant by that--just a fact) w/regards to certain things. On the CBS website they list Thursday's (6/14) top 10 as being: Top Ten Signs Paris Hilton Has Found God. #3 is "Now, only time she gets on her knees is to pray." We all know what is meant by that because of course the other times she was "on her knees" wasn't to pray (or clean!). #2 is "Latest sex tape sponsored by the National Council of Churches." Big no-no in Utah!

    You can go to the CBS website & look in the Top 10 archives to see what others you missed. http://www.cbs.com/latenight/lateshow/top_ten/archive (It appears to go back to August of '93)! My guess (having lived in Moab, UT for 4 years) is the ones that are cut have more to do with content than time.
     
  16. streeter

    streeter Screenwriter

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    Yeah, they tape one every night but on occasion will not air it - typically because an interview or another segment ran longer.

    BTW, I hear that Letterman himself dislikes the top 10 list and if it weren't so popular he would do away with it.
     

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