Monday, December 5, 2022
HomeTV1996: HBO Debuts 'The Late Shift'

1996: HBO Debuts 'The Late Shift'

On this day in 1996, HBO debuted The Late Shift, a telefilm based on the book by New York Times media reporter Bill Carter that chronicled the contentious competition between David Letterman and Jay Leno for the retiring Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show seat.

Directed by Betty Thomas, the film starred John Michael Higgins as Letterman, Daniel Roebuck as Leno and Rich Little as Johnny Carson. Supporting cast included Kathy Bates as Leno’s manager, Helen Kushnick and Treat Williams as Letterman’s agent, Michael Ovitz.</span>

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