Last Call with Carson Daly
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|Last Call with Carson Daly|
|Format||Talk show, Variety show|
|Written by||Brett Webster|
|Directed by||Rich Bond
Michael A. Hammeke
|Presented by||Carson Daly|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||12|
|No. of episodes||1,156
|Executive producer(s)||Stewart Bailey
|Running time||29 minutes|
|Production company(s)||NBC Studios
NBC Universal Television
Carson Daly Productions
|Distributor||NBCUniversal Television Distribution|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV) (2002-2011)
1080i (HDTV) (2011–present)
|Original run||January 8, 2002 – present|
Last Call with Carson Daly is an American late night television program hosted by Carson Daly and broadcast on NBC. Formerly a traditional talk show, the half-hour program consists of several produced segments, featuring interviews with musicians, filmmakers, and other artists, along with pre-taped on-location musical performances. It airs weeknights at 1:35 a.m. Eastern / 12:35 a.m. Central; it also airs weeknights a second time on the cable channel, Fuse.
In 2003 and 2004, Last Call was nominated for a Teen Choice Award for "Choice TV Show - Late Night".
Last Call was originally taped in Studio 8H of the GE Building in New York City, which was also the home studio of Saturday Night Live. However, this required the producers to work around the schedule of Saturday Night Live. During this phase, Last Call had no house band and no jokes or monologue, going straight to the first guest at the beginning of the show. The stage was setup in an empty black box theater style, save for two low-slung chairs and a small table. Each week, a different unsigned band was brought in to do the music, in addition to any musical act at the end. Gradually, the set acquired more furnishings and decor, much of which was influenced by the occasional week-long trips to Las Vegas.
Last Call was originally planned to broadcast in high-definition when Studio 8H was retrofitted for Saturday Night Live; however, instead, the show was relocated to Los Angeles in September 2005, and continued to air in standard-definition. After the move, Last Call began to resemble its counterparts, with a more traditional set, permanent house band led by Joe Firstman, short monologue and occasional comedy bits.
Production of new Last Call episodes was suspended for a month due to the Writers Guild of America strike, but on December 4, 2007, Last Call became the first late night talk show to resume production during the strike. On air, Daly explained that the only reason the show resumed production was that he was given the option to either return or have the show's 75 non-striking staff members fired. The shows were not scripted and did not include monologues. The Writers Guild of America (WGA) was critical of Daly, accusing him of crossing picket lines and labeling him a scab. Daly is not a member of the WGA.
On December 11, 2007, an organized group of WGA writers attended a taping of Last Call. First, one heckled during an interview with Jerry Rice. After security removed the first writer, another spoke up disruptively, expressing sympathy with striking writers. A producer asked anyone planning to disrupt the show to leave or face prosecution; between five and twenty left.
As the end of Late Night with Conan O'Brien was approaching, Daly made it public that he was interested in moving to the Late Night time slot. Jimmy Fallon was chosen to replace O'Brien, a choice that executive producer Lorne Michaels had in mind dating back to the day that Fallon left Saturday Night Live in 2004.
In February 2009, network executive Rick Ludwin told TV Week that the company was currently "going through the budgetary process with all of our shows. There are new budgetary realities. … It’s tough. We want to keep [Carson] going as long as we can make the budget work." Soon after that interview, NBC announced plans for Last Call to go on a one week "tour" of California, with taped segments of up-and-coming musical acts at various clubs, such as The Roxy, The Viper Room, and Hotel Cafe. As the show's 1000th episode approached in April, NBC's summary of the show made it clear that the change in format would continue:
- "Currently in its eighth season, NBC's Last Call with Carson Daly utilizes a new style by introducing a documentary style format. Host Carson Daly gets out of the studio and takes the show on location each night. Recent highlights include Daly’s motorcycle trip across the historic Route 66, a visit to comedian Tom Green's house in the Hollywood Hills, and a scene at the Whiskey Bar with the Grammy Award-winning band Kings of Leon."
With the change, the usual late-night talk show trappings of a house band, studio audience, and comedy were abandoned. In May, NBC announced that Last Call had been renewed for a ninth season, which debuted on September 21, 2009.
On January 8, 2010, it was reported by multiple media outlets that The Jay Leno Show was moving to 11:35 p.m., the Conan O'Brien-hosted Tonight Show to 12:05 a.m., and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to 1:05, which would have resulted in Last Call losing its time slot (as NBC did not include plans to move Poker After Dark, at the time the show which followed Last Call in some markets, to a later slot). NBC confirmed the move, along with the possible end of Last Call. NBC had repeatedly emphasized that its focus is retaining the lineup of Leno, Tonight and Fallon. NBC chairman Jeff Gaspin told ABC News he expected Daly to stay with the network "in some fashion", but did not elaborate.
On January 9, after the lineup changes were first rumored in the press, Daly made an unannounced stop on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, appearing from the crowd during an audience Q&A session with Kimmel. Daly jokingly asked, "What will happen to my show?" Referencing the contestant elimination process on the show Survivor, Kimmel responded, "As long as you have your immunity idol, I think you're safe." Daly then asked, "Can I have your show?" Kimmel responded, "No."
After O'Brien was forced to leave NBC and Leno's subsequent return to The Tonight Show, Daly remained at his spot and received a 4% surge in ratings.
On August 19, 2010, NBC and Daly confirmed that Last Call with Carson Daly would be renewed for its tenth season. Daly commented on the recent decision by saying, “I really feel that ‘Last Call’ has hit its stride. It took 10 years, but it feels brand new and great.” 
In the May sweeps, Last Call received a 5% increase in viewership compared to the previous year. In the same month, next day encores of the series began to air as part of Fuse's early primetime schedule.
Despite the program being produced in a 16:9 frame since at least 2008, Last Call was still presented in a 4:3 letterbox mode until September 19, 2011, when it became the last program (outside of the network's outside-controlled Saturday morning Qubo block) on NBC's schedule to make the full conversion to high definition broadcast. This also made it the last of the major late night talk programs on broadcast and cable to make the switch.
- Listings for Last Call with Carson Daly, an April 13, 2009 NBC press release
- "Carson Daly to defy writers strike". MSNBC. 2007-11-27. Retrieved 2007-12-30.
- Nikki Finke (2007-11-27). "WGA Scolds Carson Daly For Returning 'To Support Staff' And Seeking Scab Jokes". Deadline Hollywood Daily. Retrieved 2007-12-14.
- "Carson Daly Seeking Scabs". The Smoking Gun. 2007-11-27. Retrieved 2007-12-14.
- Nikki Finke (2007-12-13). "Carson Daly's Taping Disrupted by Writers". Deadline Hollywood Daily. Retrieved 2007-12-14.
- NBC Wants to Keep Daly on ‘Last Call’, a February 2009 article from TV Week
- Farhi, Paul (March 1, 2009). "Ready or Not, Here Comes Jimmy Fallon To Update Late Night". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-04-15.
- NBC'S Last Call with Carson Daly Breaks Out of the Studio and Goes on Location, a February 25, 2009 press release from NBC Entertainment
- "Last Call with Carson Daly". NBC. Retrieved 2009-04-15.
- "NBC Picks Up 'Last Call With Carson Daly'". Broadcasting and Cable. May 14, 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-24.
- Daly, Sean (January 16, 2010). "Just call him Conan O'Flyin'". New York Post.
- "Entertainment News, Celebrity Interviews and Pop Culture - ABC News". Abcnews.go.com. Retrieved 2012-03-23.
- Robertson, Lindsay. "Carson Daly Shows Up on Jimmy Kimmel's Show to Joke About Jay-Conan Stuff - Vulture". Nymag.com. Retrieved 2012-03-23.
- "EXCLUSIVE: NBC Renews "Last Call" for 10th season". Stuart Levine. Variety.com. August 19, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-22.
- JAY LENO AND JIMMY FALLON FINISH #1 VS. ABC AND CBS COMPETITION IN THE MAY 2011 SWEEP NBCUniversal. June 3, 2011. Retrieved on June 4, 2011.