Comedy Tonight - Broadcasting & Cable

Comedy Tonight

Laughs instead of music for NBC's late-night time slot
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NBC is launching a late-night comedy show-its title is still in the works-starting Jan. 5. Replacing music-video series Friday Night
at 1:35 a.m., the new effort from NBC Studios will feature five upstart stand-up comics per episode. Going the edgy-comedy route made sense for NBC because "we've considered the 1:35 a.m. late-night time period an experimental one, and this move reflects the network's desire to find new and interesting programming formats," says Entertainment President Garth Ancier.

Developed by Lisa Leingang, NBC Studios vice president of prime time series, the stand-up show will be executive produced by Matt Kunitz (Real World) and taped at Hollywood's Knitting Factory nightclub.

Friday Night, which debuted as Friday Night Videos
in 1983, played new and classic music videos, with viewers calling up the show to vote for their favorites. Ancier wished Friday Night's current host Rita Sever well, saying she had done a "terrific job."

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