TV Topics No One Talks About Anymore

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.”

3 comments about "TV Topics No One Talks About Anymore".
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  1. Jonathan Bouman from Oodle, November 30, 2023 at 10:38 a.m.

    There's no need to watch late night shows live anymore. The next day I get every one of their opening monologues on YouTube. It's great!

  2. Ben B from Retired, November 30, 2023 at 11:48 p.m.

    The PTC did go after FBoy Island demanding that they don't air it and not pick it up, i was largely going after all reality dating shows which censorship org was lying about like they always about Hollywood and the networks as well. FBoy Island an FBoy is a guy that messes with females feelings and emontons I thought it was a guy that likes to have sex with the ladies. FGirl Island debuts in the spring or summer on The CW which I'll watch as I like FBoy Island.

    As for Steve Wilkos his show hasn't been cleared in West Michigan for the last few years last seen in Sep of 2021 was on WXMI Fox17 when it debut in 2006 until 2021 kinda surprised that WXSP or CW7 didn't want to air Steve Wilkos.

  3. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, December 1, 2023 at 11:07 a.m.

    Adam, the real late night wars---and they were "wars"--- were waged in the 1960s and 1970s when there was little else to watch after the late news and the "Tonight Show" was a huge profit center for NBC and its stations.  CBS and ABC struggled to launch and sustain their own late night talk shows---ABC went with Joey Bishop and Dick Cavett while CBS opted for Merv Griffin.Add to that efforts by independents---typified by Olliver Trey's short lived "Las Vegas Show"--- and the fur was really flying.

    Though none of these competetitors unsteated  Carson as the Nielsen rating champ, they competed nightly for the best guests and their shows were the talk of the TV town. Moreover, Carson, and to a lesser extent Cavett, drew younger adult audiences which were valued by advertisers. Later contenders like Jay Leno and Letterman also participted in the fun along with very controversail personalities like Joan Rivers who hosted Fox's first foray into the late night arena.However by that time cable had arrived on the scene and there were plenty of alternative program options to draw away viewers when a guest was boring---or redundant---as often happened.

    Fast forward to today and we have a bunch of low rated late nitht entries  with mostly over 50 audiences chugging along as none of the broadcast networks has bothered to look for an alternative---their primary focus is now on streaming. But you are right, Adam, the curent late night TV scene where the broadcast networks are concerned is a shadow of its former self. The glory days are long gone.

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