Late Night with David Letterman

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Late Night with David Letterman was a nightly hour-long comedy talk show on NBC created and hosted by David Letterman. It premiered in 1982 as the first incarnation of the Late Night franchise and went off the air in 1993, after Letterman left NBC and moved to Late Show on CBS. Late Night with Conan O'Brien then filled the time slot. As of March 2, 2009, the slot has been filled by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.



The show replaced The Tomorrow Show, hosted by Tom Snyder. After the battle for The Tonight Show, when NBC gave it to comedian Jay Leno, Letterman decided to take an offer from CBS for a late night talk show to compete with The Tonight Show. So in 1993, Letterman and his crew moved to CBS and Late Show with David Letterman was born, beginning on August 30, 1993, although NBC would air repeats of Late Night until September 10, 1993. Up until this, the three competing television broadcast networks tried to create talk shows to compete with the success of The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson, but all failed. A total of 1,810 shows were broadcast during its eleven and a half year run (an episode on January 16, 1991 went unaired due to pre-emption for coverage the beginning of the Gulf War; the program had already been shot before word came out of Baghdad that United States airstrikes were beginning).

Production and scheduling

Late Night originated from NBC Studio 6A at the RCA (later GE) Building at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City. The program ran four nights a week, Monday to Thursday, from the show's premiere in February 1982 until May 1987. Friday shows were added in June 1987 (NBC previously aired Friday Night Videos in the 12:30 a.m. slot with occasional Late Night specials and reruns). Starting in September 1991, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson was pushed back from 11:30 p.m. to 11:35 p.m., with Letterman starting at 12:35 a.m., at the request of NBC affiliates who wanted more advertising time for their profitable late newscasts.

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