What’s happening in late-night television these days?
You’d be hard-pressed to find out today. Maybe somebody, somewhere out there, is occasionally reporting on the ratings, but they don’t make headlines.
What was once known as “the late-night wars” is a thing of the past. They provided the kind of conflict and drama that people talked about.
Today’s late-night hosts actually seem to like each other, which is no fun at all.
There is no sense of rivalry like in the era of Leno and Letterman. They were battling for a much larger audience.
Audiences for today’s hosts -- mainly Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert (seen with guest Arnold Schwarzenegger in the above photo) -- are a lot smaller. They’re too small for a “war,” hence nobody talks about them all that much.
It should be noted that this is not because the hosts and their producers are doing bad shows. On the contrary, the shows are as well-produced as they ever were. It’s just that the television world changed.
Similarly, there is no heat anymore in the morning-show competition. No one writes about the clash of “The Today Show” vs. “Good Morning America.”
In the past, the stars of these shows were followed closely, along with the intensity with which the shows and their swashbuckling producers competed for exclusive interviews every morning.
Today, nothing. All is calm in morning TV land, or so it seems. Or at the very least, you don’t seem to see anyone reporting any evidence to the contrary.
Daytime syndication was also a hotbed of shows people talked about, whether they watched them or not.
But the era of Jerry Springer and Maury Povich is over. The only vestige of the confrontational style in daytime talk shows is “The Steve Wilkos Show,” an offshoot of the “Springer” show.
I had to look up the show online to determine if it’s still on. Apparently, it is, but like so much of TV today, it goes on virtually unnoticed, except by those who watch it.
Today, daytime talk is peaceful. No one throws chairs or punches on “Tamron Hall” or “Kelly Clarkson.” The TV Blog concedes that this is a good thing.
As a great illustration of the fact that nobody talks about TV today in the way they used to, I give you Exhibit A: “FBoy Island,” a randy reality-“dating” show now airing on The CW.
You can guess what the “F” stands for. In the past, this show would have made for a half-dozen or more columns of feigned outrage. Today, nobody gives an “F.”