Fallon to Find His Late Night Show Online

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When Jimmy Fallon takes over Conan O’Brien’s late-night talk spot next year, the first place you’ll be able to find him is online. Lorne Michaels, who runs Saturday Night Live and is executive producer of Late Night, told the New York Times he would launch Fallon’s version of the show on the web first in advance of its televised debut next spring.

According to Michaels, the online advance version of the show will be web-sized to roughly 5 – 10 minutes, and will almost be like training pants for Fallon. The show will be released nightly at 12:30 a.m. to get people used to that schedule, and will allow Fallon to find his groove with the new gig while being more experimental.

The network has basically set up its own farm team. Rather than plucking an Internet personality from obscurity, it’s taking a known TV personality and putting him on the web with the sole purpose of fine-tuning and building an audience for his eventual TV show. That’s a good strategy to get instant feedback on the new talent and adjust accordingly (and quickly).

It’s also not the first time Michaels has used the web for unrated comedy. While Dick in a Box got bleeped on oldteevee, it was posted uncensored on the Web.

6 Comments

Liz Gannes

I know what you mean, Alec — it was interesting to read both this and the Ben Silverman take on quarterlife last night. But it’s not like online audiences aren’t quick to judge as well.

Alec McNayr

It’s good to test things out, but I wonder what would happen if his numbers really did poorly online… would big, bad, profit-minded media still have the guts to let him keep his TV gig in the spring?

I hope it doesn’t happen that way, because he really is funny, but the networks haven’t proven themselves to like “experimenting” too much…

Bobby Jennings

That’s great! Maybe he could give a shot to online comedians Kevin Brueck and Bobby Jennings of WAF to come on as writers for his show. That would be radical.

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