The War for Late Night

I am not planning on reading as many books in 2011 as I did in 2010 (100) but I am going to be reading as much as I can because 1) I love it and 2) I find that reading helps spark me on to do more.

One of the greatest ways for me to grow as a leader is to learn how other leaders make decisions, both good and bad.  One book that piqued my interest as soon as I heard about it was the War for Late Night which talked about Conan and his departure from his longtime network, NBC.  This event was all over the news in early 2010 and there were many rumors spread about this but I wanted to find out what really went down.

The book, The War for Late Night, by Bill Carter truly gave me the inside scoop.

I never thought that there would be so much drama on late night tv but with this book, I found out that there is usually a ton going on behind the scenes that will never see the light of day. This book gives you a close-up view as to what went on in 2010 with the whole scandal that reeked of deja vu in late night television.

Just like Bill Carter’s other book, The Late Shift, this one involves Jay Leno and how he used his position as King of Late NIght to position himself into a job that may not have been rightfully his. In 1993 Jay Leno took over the hosting duties of Johnny Carson right out from under Dave Letterman. In this book, Conan took over for Leno and yet within 7 months, Leno was back in that spot. This book covers those events and more. Mr. Carter shows his readers in a very straightforward way all about late night television. He goes over the history of how Conan came to the unexpected TBS, how other comedians treated Leno because of his role in Conan leaving NBC, and how late night became about more than just one or two names but about a ton of comedians on many different networks, both on and off of basic cable.

This is a great book if you want the inside scoop of how TV works behind the scenes. I found this book very fascinating and would recommend it highly to anyone interested in figuring out how the whole Conan situation in 2010 came to be.

4 out of 5 stars.


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