6.9/10
2,805
29 user 9 critic

The Late Shift (1996)

A dramatization of the rivalry between David Letterman and Jay Leno to over which of them would succeed Johnny Carson as the host of "The Tonight Show".

Director:

Betty Thomas

Writers:

Bill Carter (book), Bill Carter (teleplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
4,872 ( 389)

Watch Now

With Prime Video

ON DISC
ALL
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Late Shift I (2016)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Matt, a smart student, has to prove his innocence after being forced to take part in a bold heist at a famous London auction house. The consequences take him on a journey across London to ... See full summary »

Director: Tobias Weber
Stars: Joe Sowerbutts, Haruka Abe, Joel Basman
The Second Civil War (TV Movie 1997)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A simple immigration issue spins wildly out of control for those involved, ranging from the President of the United States, to a news producer.

Director: Joe Dante
Stars: Beau Bridges, Joanna Cassidy, Phil Hartman
Private Parts (1997)
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The autobiographical story of Howard Stern, the radio rebel who is now also a TV personality, an author and a movie star.

Director: Betty Thomas
Stars: Howard Stern, Mary McCormack, Robin Quivers
Cinema Verite (TV Movie 2011)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A behind-the-scenes look at the making of the first American family to be the subjects of a reality TV show.

Directors: Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini
Stars: Diane Lane, Tim Robbins, James Gandolfini
Speechless (1994)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Two political speechwriters fall in love before they find out they are working for candidates on opposite sides.

Director: Ron Underwood
Stars: Michael Keaton, Geena Davis, Christopher Reeve
In Pursuit of Honor (TV Movie 1995)
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In 1932, a modernizing U.S. Army orders the Cavalry to destroy its horses but some sympathetic cavalrymen, defying orders, steal the horses in order to save them from destruction, to the dismay of the top Army-brass.

Director: Ken Olin
Stars: Don Johnson, Craig Sheffer, Gabrielle Anwar
The Movies (TV Series 2019)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A look at the history of movies and their impact on our culture.

Stars: Paul Thomas Anderson, Brad Bird, Alonso Duralde
The Pentagon Wars (TV Movie 1998)
Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Story of a cover up in the military.

Director: Richard Benjamin
Stars: Kelsey Grammer, Cary Elwes, Viola Davis
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Sir David Attenborough investigates the discovery of a 200 million year old Ichthyosaur on the Jurassic Coast in southern England.

Director: Sally Thomson
Stars: David Attenborough, Benjamin Moon, Chris Moore
Recount (TV Movie 2008)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A chronicle of the weeks after the 2000 U.S. Presidential election, and the subsequent recounts in Florida.

Director: Jay Roach
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Bob Balaban, Denis Leary
Project Nim (2011)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Tells the story of a chimpanzee taken from its mother at birth and raised like a human child by a family in a brownstone on the upper West Side in the 1970s.

Director: James Marsh
Stars: Nim Chimpsky, Stephanie LaFarge, Herbert Terrace
Horror

On her overnight shift, the teenage manager of a fast food restaurant is terrorized by a group of masked assailants.

Director: Alan Scott Neal
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kathy Bates ... Helen Kushnick
John Michael Higgins ... David Letterman
Daniel Roebuck ... Jay Leno
Bob Balaban ... Warren Littlefield
Ed Begley Jr. ... Rod Perth
Peter Jurasik ... Howard Stringer
Reni Santoni ... John Agoglia
John Kapelos ... Robert Morton
Steven Gilborn ... Peter Lassally
John Getz ... Brandon Tartikoff
Lawrence Pressman ... Bob Wright
Sandra Bernhard ... Sandra Bernhard
Treat Williams ... Michael Ovitz
David Brisbin ... Alan Levine
Michael Chieffo ... Rick Ludwin
Edit

Storyline

HBO movie about the behind-the-scenes network politics responsible for the changes in late-night talk-show hosts, after the retirement of Johnny Carson from the Tonight Show on NBC. Jay Leno and David Letterman were both vying for the position, but Leno's tough manager Helen Kushnick got him the spot. In the wake of her 'stepping on the toes' of powerful network executives and 'playing hardball' tactics with guest bookings, she found herself being pushed out of her job as Tonight Show Executive Producer and Jay's manager. Letterman, devastated by his being passed over, brought in superagent Mike Ovitz to negotiate on his behalf, resulting in his move to CBS. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Two heads fighting for the late night crown - One head's gotta roll. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 February 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Late Shift See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film takes place from 1991 to 1993. See more »

Goofs

When David, Peter Lasally, and Morty head to their CBS press conference, they pass a Radio City Music Hall marquee advertising a show running from September-October. However, the press conference was in January (of 1993). See more »

Quotes

David Letterman: [outside CBS Studios right before the press conference] Gentlemen, we are just going from one bizarre circumstance to the next.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Many of the talk show interviews were cut for time, including more celebrities and Paul Schaffer/David Letterman schtick. See more »

Connections

References Major Dad (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

There's No Business Like Show Business
Performed by Ethel Merman
Written by Irving Berlin
Irving Berlin Music Company
Courtesy RCA Victor Red Seal Division of BMG Classics
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
I don't know how true it is, but it's mighty entertaining!
11 March 2000 | by AlabamaWorley1971See all my reviews

I think this movie actually has a lot of nice things to say about a lot of people (Johnny Carson, Ted Koppel), and it shows that Letterman and Leno actually liked and respected each other a lot. Treat Williams as the half-Kung Fu Master, half-Godfather-like Mike Ovitz is terrific.


13 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 29 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed