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Letterman moving to ABC?

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#1 of 6 OFFLINE   Michael*K



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Posted March 01 2002 - 03:48 AM

According to today's New York Times and Washington Post, ABC is in serious discussions to lure David Letterman to the network and insert his show in the 11:35 pm ET time slot. Whether this would lead to the cancellation of Nightline is unclear, though I don't see a widely respected journalist like Ted Koppel settling for being bumped by a comedian whose best years are in the rearview mirror. I hope this move doesn't come to fruition. Posted Image

#2 of 6 OFFLINE   Malcolm R

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Posted March 01 2002 - 05:52 AM

It does seem odd. "Nightline" would seem a lot cheaper to produce than "Late Show" and brings in similar, if not higher, ratings. Though the audiences are obviously different. Since ABC is in the ratings toilet, perhaps they're willing to sacrifice the cost vs. younger, hipper audience and the opportunity to promote ABC shows to them.

At least ABC has finally wised up and cleaned house at MNF. Can't wait for John Madden's first game. Posted Image
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#3 of 6 OFFLINE   Adam Tyner

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Posted March 01 2002 - 06:22 AM

"Nightline" would seem a lot cheaper to produce than "Late Show" and brings in similar, if not higher, ratings.
The ratings game consists of a lot more than just the overall number of viewers. This is covered in the NY Times article.
One senior ABC executive had said privately as long ago as last summer that the network was considering finding an entertainment alternative to "Nightline" and "Politically Incorrect." The executive said the two programs together were losing about $10 million a year, while both Mr. Letterman's "Late Show" on CBS and Jay Leno's "Tonight Show" on NBC were highly profitable.

The big reason for the discrepancy in revenue is differences in composition of the audiences. The half-hour "Nightline," which is half as long as "Late Show," attracts a sizable audience of more than four million viewers a night, comparable with what Mr. Letterman brings in to CBS.

But "Nightline" does not perform nearly as well among the younger audience groups of people ages 18 to 34 and 18 to 49. Those groups are more prized by advertisers than older viewers who make up the bulk of the audience for "Nightline." ABC builds its advertising sales efforts around reaching those young adult viewers and has struggled to find programs that reach them, especially those younger than 35.

"Late Show" brings in almost 30 percent more viewers from ages 18 to 49 and about 50 percent more viewers younger than 35 than the ABC late-night hour of "Nightline" and "Politically Incorrect."

#4 of 6 OFFLINE   LarryDavenport



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Posted March 01 2002 - 06:38 AM

Bill Maher was on Larry King the other night and he indicated that he thought his days at ABC were numbered, but "PI" would continue somewhere. (CNN I predict).

I can see Ted going to CNN if Nightline is dropped. I don't see him on 20/20 and Peter Jennings is a long way off from retiring.

#5 of 6 OFFLINE   Terrell



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Posted March 01 2002 - 06:47 AM

I've always found Letterman funnier than Leno. Dave can about make anything funny, even stupid stuff. Dave can even make a joke that flopped funny. He's good at improvisation. Leno is not. When his jokes flop, he just constinues on. I like both, though. Just Dave is more my style.

As for the news, that is surprising. Are they going to pay him what CBS was paying him? Dave only makes about 15 million per year.

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#6 of 6 OFFLINE   John Tillman

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Posted March 01 2002 - 07:23 AM

I'm glad we still have a choice between Letterman & Leno. Back in the old days, Carson was the only game in town.

To be honest here, Letterman is a NYC show and ABC lacks the ability to do a digital broadcast in the NYC area (this is an entertainment program, no?). On the other hand, CBS doesn't seem to be in too much of a hurry to change their cameras to do a HD broadcast with 5.1. Perhaps ABC could spring for some HD cameras, or find a sponsor who would, then find a way to broadcast a digital signal...

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