Is Late Night TV Over?


Late Night Talk Show Hosts

Brookelle Barnes, Editor/Reporter

Since 1947, late night TV shows have taken the world by storm with a very immersive approach to public news, comedies, live music, and interviews. There have been many talk show hosts since 1947, all bringing something good or bad to the late night table. These more recently include people such as Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, James Corden, Conan O’Brien, Seth Myers, etc. Whether you love them or you hate them, late night TV viewership has dramatically dropped in the last 4-5 years. To blame? The large world of social media and it’s influence on generations now and to come.

Before Covid-19, late night shows were able to quickly adjust to the fast consumerism that younger generations enjoyed through platforms like TikTok, Instagram Reels, Twitter, and YouTube Shorts. These platforms provided 5-10 minute snippets of the late night show and brought in millions of more views to those specific portions of the show on those various platforms. It is no secret that late night shows cater to older generations that can even stand to sit through these shows, these shows have an almost “outdated” take on TV. Although, when they do cater to younger audiences (through celebrities, music, etc.) most younger people will simply go to YouTube to see just that one person for their 6-7 minute interview/performance.

When Covid-19 eventually hit in early 2020, late night was forced to say goodbye to their stage and sets, resorting to a one-man podcast-like show. This was extremely difficult for hosts to adjust to, keeping a fluid one-man show posed various threats to the duration and viewership of the show. This ultimately resulted in the greatest fall of late night TV, throughout the pandemic, people needed information faster than ever since everything was virtual. Fast media changed the way we consume information completely, anything seen on the news, with a celebrity, or other worldly news could be known within seconds by billions of people. The need for an hour long show depleted, not even to mention celebrities being able to post or say whatever they want to their viewers on their own personal social medias.

In more recent news, as of April 27th, 2023, James Corden’s late night show ended. This may or may not have something to do with a reoccurring issue of  late night show hosts likability in the public eye, but nonetheless his show is over. I’m interested to see what becomes of late night TV, as most people genuinely find it unfunny. With the combination of fast media, Covid-19, and James Corden’s not so nice reputation… I think it’s safe to say that late night TV has reached a standstill.


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