Fox Replaces EP of New Late Night Talker

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Just over a week before its September 16 launch, Fox’s new late-night show, Talkshow with Spike Feresten, has replaced executive producer Stewart Bailey with Mike Gibbons.

A Fox spokesperson on Friday confirmed the move, saying that Bailey was on board just to help launch the show.

Multiple sources with knowledge of the situation said the move was made in the last week in part due to a shift in the direction of the show, not an uncommon occurrence in a show’s infancy.In this case, among the reasons was Feresten’s show wants to build up more of a dependence on in-studio elements as opposed to taped pieces in the field, the latter being a forte of Bailey’s.

While this was his first time running a late-night show, Bailey is a highly-regarded late-night veteran and former co-executive producer of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.Sources close to Bailey say he has already been approached regarding other projects, including a Comedy Central pilot featuring comedian Greg Giraldo.

He had previously taken over the EP role from Todd Yasui, who shifted to Fox as its new head of late night in December.Yasui was formerly executive producer of CBS’ The Late, Late Show during the Craig Kilborn era.

And it is that Late, Late Show connection that paved the way for the hire of Gibbons, who served as head writer on the show and even took a turn as guest host during the period in between the departure of Kilborn and the hire of Craig Ferguson.Most recently, Gibbons has worked on Ellen DeGeneres’ syndicated talk show and on David Spade’s Showbiz Show on Comedy Central.

Talkshow marks Fox’s gradual re-entry into the late-night arena, as the show will run Saturday nights after MadTV.

Feresten is making his on-camera debut after a very successful career behind the scenes as a writer for shows including Late Night with David Letterman and Seinfeld, where he penned the famous “Soup Nazi” episode.

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