The Late Shift

Synopsis: HBO movie about the behind-the-scenes network politics responsible for the changes in late-night talk-show hosts, after the retirement of Johnny Carson from the Tonight Show on NBC. Jay Leno and David Letterman were both vying for the position, but Leno's tough manager Helen Kushnick got him the spot. In the wake of her 'stepping on the toes' of powerful network executives and 'playing hardball' tactics with guest bookings, she found herself being pushed out of her job as Tonight Show Executive Producer and Jay's manager. Letterman, devastated by his being passed over, brought in superagent Mike Ovitz to negotiate on his behalf, resulting in his move to CBS.
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director(s): Betty Thomas
Production: HBO Video
  Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 wins & 10 nominations.
 
IMDB:
6.9
R
Year:
1996
95 min
46 Views

( people chattering )

( man chuckling )

Uh, jeez, how late

is Fotomat open?

( all laughing )

( Howard )

I do want to thank you all for your patience.

We are now obviously

ready to go.

I'm Howard Stringer,

and as president

of C.B.S. Entertainment,

it is my singular pleasure,

and a great moment for us

to be able to bring

this great star to C.B.S.:

David Letterman.

( people applauding )

I never dated Amy Fisher.

I... I... I... I fixed her car,

I helped her

with her homework,

and, that's all.

All right, thank you.

All right,

I'll take some questions,

and then, uh, Colin Powell

will be in here

and update you

on the bombing.

( all laughing )

I do want to thank C.B.S.

for their... for their support,

and... and, of course,

for their generosity.

I mean, wow,

this is a deal that would

put a smile on

Jack Benny's face,

and that's in the condition

he's in right now.

( all laughing )

Does G.E. make

the best managers for a television network?

( coughing )

( all laughing )

What was the question?

Oh, yeah. No, you know,

I don't know about that,

but they make

a darn fine toaster oven.

( all laughing )

Come on, Paul,

we got... we got to do a show.

Dave, I have a terrible case

of the hiccups.

Oh, really? You tried

holding your breath?

Everything.

( hiccupping )

I got an idea. Hold on.

What are you doing?

Here just put that

on your head there,

( hiccupping )

and breathe... breathe normally there, Paul.

Ok.

I'm breathin'.

How is that?

You, uh, feel any better?

( hiccupping )

Oh, gosh.

( hiccupping )

Sorry...

Must have been

something I ate.

IT'S BLOODY MARVELOUS.

( announcer on T.V. )

The Tonight Show.

Johnny's guest host

tonight is Jay Leno.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Jay Leno!

( band playing on T.V. )

Thank you.

Wonderful, wonderful.

That's nice to hear.

Now, did you all

see the paper?

There's a survey that says

you're safer,

and now this is true,

you're safer on an airplane

than you are in

your own bathroom.

Do you believe that?

I mean, do you... do you think

that's true? I don't know.

I've never slipped

on the toilet seat and fallen 35,000 feet.

( both laughing )

You know, I mean, I never

adjusted the shower rod

and had a fireball come out

and incinerate me.

So you can't imagine...

SO, WHY CAN'T WE JUS THROW MONEY AT ONE OF THEM?

WHAT SORT OF OFFER

DO YOU HAVE IN MIND?

WHAT DOES IT MATTER?

LATE NIGHT'S MAKING

$70 MILLION A YEAR FOR N.B.C.

WHERE'S OUR BLOODY PIECE?

THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN

MR. SAJAK.

OH, CHRIST,

WHAT A DISASTER.

HE'S GOT A LOCK ON EVERY

BLUE-HAIRED OLD BIDDY

WHO EVER WATCHED

WHEEL OF FORTUNE.

DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY STATIONS

ARE CANCELING HIM FOR ARSENIO?

IT'S LIKE THEY'RE

CANCELING HIM BEFORE WE CAN.

LOOK AT THESE:

F*CKING NUMBERS:

WHEN LENO FILLS IN

FOR CARSON.

AND LETTERMAN.

N.B.C. HAS HIM SIGNED

THROUGH '93.

WELL...

WHAT ABOUT LENO?

N.B.C. ONLY HAS A ONE-YEAR

HOLDING DEAL WITH JAY.

THAT'S NOTHING.

HE COULD BE RIPE.

SO LET'S STEAL HIM.

I MEAN, WE CAN GIVE HIM A SHOW

NOW FOR CHRIST'S SAKES.

I'LL PUSH SAJAK OVER A CLIFF

IF WE COULD GET LENO.

THEY MIGHT FIGHT FOR HIM.

LET THEM.

THEY CAN'T FIGHT EQUALLY

FOR LENO AND LETTERMAN.

THEY'RE NOT GONNA

OFFER THEM BOTH:

CARSON'S SPO WHEN HE RETIRES.

THIS IS THE BES OPPORTUNITY WE'VE EVER HAD

TO BREAK N.B.C.'S

STRANGLEHOLD ON LATE NIGHT.

OK, HOWARD.

LET'S GO STIR SOMETHING UP.

And, you know,

we can knock it out in one fell swoop.

Oh!

OH! WHOA! WHOA!

BOUNCY UP HERE.

( glass shattering )

WE GOT TO DO:

A COMMERCIAL HERE, BOYS AND GIRLS.

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK

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Bill Carter

Bill Carter (born 1966) is a writer and director. He directed the documentary film Miss Sarajevo, which consists of amateur video material he shot during his stay in the besieged city of Sarajevo. He is the author of Fools Rush In, his memoirs of working for an aid agency during the War in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He teaches journalism and film at Northern Arizona University. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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"The Late Shift" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 15 Nov. 2019. <https://www.scripts.com/script/the_late_shift_12308>.

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