Future Of Late Night On Streamers: What Does It Mean To Be 'Live' On CTV?

Late-night TV shows -- especially on broadcast and cable TV -- are a big deal when it comes to bringing in viewers -- typically younger viewers as well as eager younger-skewing TV marketers. Immediacy and topical themes can be key ingredients.

And now with the departure of both CBS' James Corden (“The Late Late Show”) and Comedy Central's Trevor Noah (“The Daily Show”), linear TV networks have a big question to answer. What kind of traditional late-night comedy/talk shows will continue -- if at all -- on linear TV as viewers increasingly move to streaming platforms?

And perhaps a bigger question: Can new comedy/talk show late-night fare be a factor in the connected TV world?



This is not to say that Paramount Global TV network will not be looking for replacements for both Corden and Noah in the short term on linear TV.

Linear broadcast and cable TV networks continue to pursue more live, real-time content -- which includes  sports, news, special live events, and award shows. Late-night talk has a connection here.

All major late-night shows -- CBS’ “Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” NBC’s “Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” and ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live”  -- are all taped in the afternoon before going live the same day.

Kimmel tapes an hour before airtime. Colbert can air live after major TV events. All have the feel of being live.

But in the future, transitioning to streaming-only might be tricky with the strong perception among consumers that linear TV is the place to go for live events. This might mean streamers will need to incorporate a different set of daily marketing campaigns.

There are exclusive late-night appearing shows on CTV. NBCUniversal’s Peacock has, for example, “The Amber Ruffin Show” -- which is now in its third season. Netflix has featured late-night talk shows with the likes of David Letterman and others.

Currently, streaming consumers also have access to linear TV late-night talk shows as well: Peacock has NBC’s late-night shows “Tonight” and “Late Night With Seth Meyers,” while Paramount+ has the “Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” “Real Time with Bill Maher” has run on a weekly basis on Friday nights on HBO for some time -- and now on HBO Max.

Perhaps one key to all of this comes in looking at Disney+. It does not presently have “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” nor is it on Hulu’s on-demand options.

That said, you can find Kimmel on Hulu+Live TV, the virtual pay TV service, which has ABC.

Does the word “live” complicate matters here?

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