Tim's Reviews > The War for Late Night: When Leno Went Early and Television Went Crazy

The War for Late Night by Bill  Carter
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's review
Apr 08, 11

Read from March 24 to April 07, 2011, read count: 1

I've been a fan of Conan O'Brien since he was a writer on the Simpsons and SNL, so I found the whole Tonight Show debacle to be a captivating subject. Bill Carter's book documenting the The War for Late Night does an excellent job of showing what was going on behind the scenes during the NBC late night crisis, along with what led up to it.

I think Bill Carter did a good job presenting everyone involved fairly. No one really comes over as being a "bad guy." Poor decisions were made, but the reasoning behind each decision is explained and I can understand why the decisions were made.

The only real problem I have with the book is the author's decision to tell the life story for each of the late night hosts that have been on the air for the past several years. I understand how the life stories of Conan and Jay are important to illustrate how their past influenced their career choices, but I think the bios on John Stewart, Steven Colbert, Craig Ferguson, et al, were unnecessary and disrupted the flow of the book.

Despite that complaint, Bill Carter did an excellent job on the book and I recommend it to anyone that is interested in either last year's stupefying turn of events in late night, or simply interested in the background of how network TV works.

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