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The Late Shift (1996) (TV)

cover Directed by
Betty Thomas

Writing credits (WGA)
Bill Carter (book)
Bill Carter (teleplay) ...

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Genre: Comedy / Drama (more)

Plot Outline: A dramatization of the rivalry to be the successor of Johnny Carson as the host of "The Tonight Show." (more) (view trailer)

User Comments: Excellent account of the late night wars. (more)

User Rating: *******___ 6.8/10 (602 votes) Vote Here

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kathy Bates .... Helen Kushnick
John Michael Higgins .... David Letterman
Daniel Roebuck .... Jay Leno
Bob Balaban .... Warren Littlefield
Ed Begley Jr. .... Rod Perth
Peter Jurasik .... Howard Stringer
Reni Santoni .... John Agoglia
John Kapelos .... Robert Morton
Steven Gilborn .... Peter Lassally
John Getz .... Brandon Tartikoff
Lawrence Pressman .... Bob Wright
Sandra Bernhard .... Herself
Treat Williams .... Michael Ovitz
David Brisbin .... Alan Levine
Michael Chieffo .... Rick Ludwin

MPAA: Rated R for language.
Runtime: 95 min
Country: USA
Language: English
Color: Color (DeLuxe)
Sound Mix: Dolby SR
Certification: USA:R


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User Comments:

3 out of 3 people found the following comment useful:-
Excellent account of the late night wars., 20 July 2000
Author: erasmus9 from Bradenton, Florida

Captivating tale of backstabbing behind the curtains. The movie follows the plight of David Letterman and Jay Leno as they struggle for the elusive Tonight Show spot. Letterman led by his desire for the coveted time slot and Leno led by his agent and little-devil-on-the-shoulder, Helen Kushnick.

Kathy Bates (Kushnick) is excellent in this movie, alienating herself from such top dogs as Bob Wright, Warren Littlefield, and Howard Stringer. Towards the end of the film you are so entranced with how she handles every situation from guest bookings to delayed taping, that you find yourself wanting more.

John Michael Higgins (Letterman) plays his part to the tee. At times I found myself wondering if he was any relation to the real Letterman.

I highly recommend this movie to anyone interested in entertainment or the world of corporate negotiations.

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