A frenetic, true-life comedy charting the post-Carson late night TV wars between David Letterman and Jay Leno. Based on the book by Bill Carter. Kathy Bates won a Golden Globe for her supporting role as Helen Kushnick, Leno's controversially abrasive manager/executive producer.
Description by Warner Home Video:
When two heads are fighting for the late-night crown, one head has to roll. Based on the true story of the battle between Letterman and Leno for Johnny Carson's Tonight Show hot seat!
"The Late Show" provides a behind-the-scenes look into the late-night talk show war that resulted in Jay Leno succeeding Johnny Carson as host of "The Tonight Show," and David Letterman leaving NBC for CBS. This telefilm offers a glimpse of the workings of the cutthroat and highly competitive television industry, as key players lie, threaten, and let their unbridled ambition run wild. As the wheeling and dealing finally conclude, we see how the personalities of the four major players -- the naive Leno, the self-pitying Letterman, Leno's ball-breaking manager Helen Kushnick, and Letterman's smooth-talking super-agent Michael Ovitz -- led to the ultimate fates of the two hosts.
Theatrical Release |
Originally broadcast on HBO Saturday, February 24, 1996.
Additional cast: Steven Gilborn, Ken Kragen (who played himself).
Bob Balaban once played a Warren Littlefield-type character on the NBC series "Seinfeld."