Late Night TV: The Real War on Women

Jimmy FallonYesterday, Jay Leno revealed that he had come to an agreement with NBC executives to cede the hosting duties of “The Tonight Show” to Jimmy Fallon.  Even though Leno leads his rivals in overall ratings and the coveted 18-34 viewing demographic executives decided it was time for a change.  As many of you know this isn’t the first time Leno was supposed to retire from the show.  Conan O’Brien can tell you that story better than I ever could.  The move is most likely in response to Jimmy Kimmel’s move to the 11:35pm ET time slot on the ABC network.  Apparently NBC executives do not want to give Kimmel time to mature in his role with the younger demographic.  Don’t feel sorry for Leno.  He is getting $15 million as compensation for voiding his contract.

While we can argue all day who is the better host and who will be the most successful I’m let pondering one important question: “Where are all the female late night talk show hosts?”  The only female late night talk show host is Chelsea Handler.  Handler is host to E! Network’s “Chelsea Lately.”  Yet, we have Leno, David Letterman, Craig Ferguson, Fallon, Kimmel, O’Brien, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and Bill Maher.  I’m probably missing someone from my list.  Now that I think about it Kathy Griffin has a show.  Even with her addition, it is still severely lop-sided.  (UPDATE: Kathy’s show has been canceled since I uploaded this post). 

I certainly don’t think there should be a female host, just for the sake of equality.  The best candidate should always get the job.  Yet, I never hear speculation that a female comedian is in the talks for any late night gig.  Why is that?  I’m I really to believe there aren’t any funny women? I don’t believe that one bit.

I find it interesting how feminists were outraged at Mitt Romney this past election on “his war on women,” yet I don’t hear any outrage to the “war on women” in Hollywood.  Older female actresses have more trouble finding parts than their male counterparts.  I’m I to believe that in these movie societies there aren’t any older women?

I regularly watch “Chelsea Lately.”  I think Chelsea Handler would be a great candidate.  Why isn’t she in the running for the “The Tonight Show?”  Her show is filmed right next door to Leno’s show.  So don’t tell me the NBC executives want to “keep it in the family.”  So far I have heard that Jon Stewart and Seth Myers are the leading candidates to replace Fallon.

Do you think there is a “war on women” in Hollywood? In particular, late night TV?


Twitter: @adrakontaidis & @talkrealdebate


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About adrakontaidis

A conservative who doesn't pander to the GOP.

7 responses to “Late Night TV: The Real War on Women”

  1. JF Owen says :

    Is the problem with the entertainment industry or the consuming public? Studio executives are business people and like most astute capitalists will sell any product that has a market. What do you think?

    • realtalkrealdebate says :

      I think the problem is probably both. However, I don’t recall a female comic getting the chance to host on any of the prime shows. Just because we are used to male hosts doesn’t mean female hosts couldn’t do well with consumers. If you truly are a good comic then you have a great chance to do well.

      I think there’s a problem when I have to think very hardly for late night female hosts. Wasn’t a problem with male hosts.

      Maybe consumers have been conditioned to accept these traditional roles. I think consumers would embrace a female host. Again only if she’s funny.

      For the record, I like Jimmy Fallon. Kimmel is my favorite.

  2. Kamil Zawadzki says :

    It’s not even “just” late night TV that lacks gender diversity.
    Sunday morning talks shows about current politics are also dominated by men. I actually don’t even recall seeing a single woman on any of those panels unless it’s a politician/guest coming on the show to be interviewed.

    • realtalkrealdebate says :

      Definitely. Part of the reason is that people aren’t discussing this topic.

    • JF Owen says :

      Christine Amanpour did ABC’s “This Week” until she left to return to CNN and Cokie Roberts shared duties with Sam Donaldson on TW in the late nineties,

      Peggy Noonan, Cokie Roberts and Donna Brazile are regular panelists.

      I don’t watch Meet the Press or Face the Nation often, but I do remember that Leslie Stahl was the moderator on FTN for many years and that Leslie Vargas spent time moderating MTP.

      Women have a decent presence in news that goes back to before Barbara Walters. Look at 60 minutes, 20/20 and Dateline and the evening news anchors over the last decade.

      At any given time it’s a snapshot, but overall the news business is a bright spot for women.

      I think that it’s easier for a woman in news to be accepted as trustworthy and knowledgeable than it is for a woman comedienne to by accepted as funny without being abrasive. I’m not sure what the psychological dynamics are there, but I’m sure that it has something to do with male ego being bent.

      • JF Owen says :

        That should have been Elizabeth Vargas. Sorry.

      • realtalkrealdebate says :

        It is definitely more difficult for female comediennes to break the “boy’s club” than female reporters. Yes, there have been female anchors for Sunday Morning talk shows and Diane Sawyer is host of the evening news for ABC. Right now none of the Sunday Morning Talk show hosts are women.

        Sorry it has taken me so long to respond! 🙂

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