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LENO, FALLON OR LETTERMAN, WHO CARES?

April 8, 2013

I grew up loving late night television. But I also entered the business world the year that Mad Men is now celebrating in Sunday’s season premier (1968). So, I think it is time to state the obvious. Eighteen months from now, the father of Saturday Night Live (Lorne Michaels) won’t be able to breathe new life into a musty old TV format.

The baby boomers that made late night TV the place to be now go to bed before they air (or they’re trying to dole out nighttime medicine to their aging parents or texting their kids to find out where the heck they are). The younger audience (the Jimmy Fallon crowd) prefers to watch shows on tablets, phones and laptops. As I posted recently, that’s why a Fallon YouTube video got three times as many viewers as the Tonight Show. Sorry, you’re talking about rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Late night needs to discover a new format, nothing lasts forever.

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