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Chris Hardwick previews 'Nerdist' on BBC America. Plus, EXCLUSIVE CLIPS

Chris Hardwick’s weekly Walking Dead post-mortem, Talking Dead, has become a staple of the Sunday night viewing experience. And starting tonight, he hopes BBC America viewers make time for him once again as he launches his weekly Nerdist chat show.

“It’s basically like a network-level chat show when you look at the guest list,” Hardwick says of the lineup for his ten-episode talk show, which includes Doctor Who‘s Matt Smith, Seth Rogen, Dominic Monaghan, Elijah Wood, and on the afternoon EW visited the set, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Community‘s Gillian Jacobs.

But Hardwick, also known for his podcast of the same name and as part of G4′s Attack of the Show, says while the guest list rivals that of any late-night talker, he doesn’t see his new late-night platform as a reason to change his casual, hangout-esque approach to hosting. The aforementioned taping was full of romp, in fact. Gordon-Levitt joked about advising his grandmother to pass on viewing his new sex-content-heavy film Don Jon’s Addiction and Jacobs played a game called Gillian, Gillian (as in Anderson, of X-Files) or Gilligan.

“Everyone’s just hanging out, breaking the traditional interrogation talk show format,” Hardwick says, adding that he’s long enjoyed The Graham Norton Show and Rove LA (with Australian host Rove McManus), who have similar approach. On Hardwick’s show, sketches, remote pieces (one coming up features Doctor Who alum Arthur Darvill), and standup comedy are also featured. “It’s really just a fun screw-around hour,” he says.

Offering a taste of something different is what’s help Harwick build the Nerdist name, and if his new gig is any indication, there’s still growth to be had. “I kind of just want a self-sustaining system where I get to keep making stuff; I guess that’s sort of my goal,” Hardwick says. “I think our philosophy is that we’ll make things we like and hopefully there are people out there who are of like minds and will enjoy it. That’s sort of the best we can do.”

Nerdist airs tonight on BBC America as part of the network’s Supernatural Saturday lineup. Want a taste? Check out these two exclusive clips below, one of which features Doctor Who’s Matt Smith (…sorta)! READ FULL STORY

Jay Leno jokes about being booted from NBC

Jay Leno is shifting his target in his latest joke about the the dramatic recent Tonight Show transition headlines. Instead of poking fun at NBC’s ratings like the late-night host has done earlier this week, on Thursday night he took a shot at his own perilous position at the network.

“Are you all excited about March Madness?” he asked the Tonight audience at the taping earlier today. “Are you all into March Madness? People are talking about who’s in, who’s out, who’s gonna be eliminated. And that’s just here at NBC. I’ve never been in the paper this much. It’s fantastic.”

Leno and NBC have been besieged by reports that the network plans to replace the top-rated veteran host with Late Night host Jimmy Fallon by the end of next year.

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Jimmy Fallon could replace Jay Leno by next year: Report

Jimmy Fallon might do what Conan O’Brien attempted to do back in 2010: Replace Jay Leno in the coveted Tonight Show seat.

According to a report by The Hollywood Reporter, NBC is planning to announce Leno’s retirement as soon as this May, with the change going in effect in time for the 2014 TV season. Leno’s replacement at 11:35, sources say, will almost surely be Jimmy Fallon, who’s been helming the 12:35 Late Night hour.  NBC has denied the story, while a rep for Leno said “we do not speculate on rumor.”

Of course, we’ve heard this before. A few years back, Leno stepped down to give the spot to O’Brien — and we all know how that worked out. But the landscape has shifted since then — most notably thanks to the youthful Jimmy Kimmel Live, which ABC recently slated as The Tonight Show‘s direct competitor. Beyond that, whispers of Letterman’s retirement (his contract is up in 2014) have been turning into soft murmurs. A move by NBC to install Fallon in the 62-year old Leno’s spot would pit the two Jimmys against one another for the ever-important target demo.

What about you, reader — are you looking forward to a potential Jimmy vs. Jimmy late-night, or do you prefer your current Jay-Dave spectrum? Is there someone else you’d prefer to replace Jay? Or do you just opt for the Daily Show-Colbert Report hour anyway? Sound off in the comments!

Pete Holmes gets new Conan O'Brien-produced late-night show

The late-night field just got more crowded. TBS has just announced a four-week trial run of a new untitled comedy series starring comedian Pete Holmes coming this fall.

Holmes is best-known as the host of the You Made It Weird podcast. His new show, airing Monday through Thursdays, will follow Conan, and is being executive produced by a team that includes Conan O’Brien. It will showcase “the comedian’s incredible skill set, combining sketches, short films, live comedy, field pieces and in-studio guest interviews into a fast-paced half hour.”

“Pete Holmes is an enormously likable performer with an agile and innovative mind,” O’Brien said in a press release. “I’m really looking forward to his show, and I’ve already had my son program my DVR.”

To get a taste, check out Holmes performing stand-up on Conan below: READ FULL STORY

Justin Timberlake books a week with Jimmy Fallon

Timber-fans rejoice! NBC announced that Justin Timberlake has booked a whole week of appearance on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.

Beginning March 11, the actor-producer-singer-honorary comedian will perform each night of the week. On Monday and Friday, he’ll sit down with Fallon — presumably to talk about the March 19 release of The 20/20 Experience, which just might redefine which Instagram filter we use to watch music.

Can we assume The Roots will be the backing band? Can we assume that ?uestlove will do a dreamy-smooth spin on JT’s new dreamy-smooth songs? Can we assume that there will be at least one sketch that involves Justin as the newest footman in Downton Sixbey?

We can’t assume, but we can dream.

Read more:
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Conan O'Brien hosting the White House Correspondents Dinner -- VIDEO

Conan O’Brien will host this year’s White House Correspondents Dinner, the annual event where politicians, celebrities, and journalists gather in a giant room and awkwardly laugh at one another. “Conan is one of televisions most innovative and influential talents, and I am absolutely thrilled that he has agreed to be this year’s featured act,” said White House Correspondents Association president Ed Henry in a statement.

The annual event is important for two reasons: It raises money for scholarships and, in the past years, has increasingly become a crucible for hot-blooded comic and political moments. In 2011, President Obama called out Donald Trump, to much chuckling. In 2006, Stephen Colbert called out President Bush, to much cringing and slack-jawed amazement.

This year’s dinner will be held on April 27, and broadcast, as always, by C-SPAN. No word about a possible appearance from Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. O’Brien last appeared at the dinner in 1995, when he called Judge Ito “the most powerful man in the country” and made jokes about his virginity. (Oh, the ’90s.)

Check out a piece of O’Brien’s appearance after the jump:

READ FULL STORY

Michelle Obama to appear on 'Jimmy Fallon'

First Lady Michelle Obama will be a guest on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon this Friday, EW has confirmed.

The First Lady is dropping by to celebrate the third anniversary of her Let’s Move! initiative, although talk about her recent hairstyle change (bangs!) also seems likely. The other guest for Friday’s episode is Scarlett Johansson, who coincidentally was an active President Obama supporter during the recent election.

While this will be the first time Obama has sat down with Fallon, it won’t be her first appearance on the program. Last February, she was part of a pre-taped sketch where Fallon came to the White House and challenged the First Lady to a push-up contest and a potato sack race. Perhaps Friday’s show will feature a rematch.

Check out the earlier skit below: READ FULL STORY

Matt Damon-hosted 'Jimmy Kimmel' episode gets primetime encore

Last night’s Matt Damon-hijacked episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live is heading for primetime.

ABC announced today the special, in which Damon reigned as host of the program as Kimmel sat tied up in the background, will have a primetime encore next Tuesday (Jan. 29) at 10 p.m. ET.

The episode was the climax of a decades-long faux feud between the actor and the late-night host and found Damon welcoming a huge list of surprise celebrity guests, including Nicole Kidman, Demi Moore, Robin Williams, Ben Affleck, and Andy Garcia, who took the place of Kimmel’s usual sidekick Guillermo. (Sheryl Crow took over as band leader.)

The encore comes on the heels of news about the episode’s rating success. It ranked as the No. 1 late-night program with 2.92 and 1.23 rating in the 18-49 demo.

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Matt Damon to make first official guest appearance on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live'

Set your DVRs: Matt Damon will finally submit to an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Thursday, Jan. 24. And “may God help Damon if he dares show his stupid face,” Kimmel said in a statement.

For nearly as long as he’s hosted Jimmy Kimmel Live, the comedian has had the same show-ending tradition: Apologizing and saying that he’s been forced to bump his last guest of the night, Matt Damon. In 2006, Kimmel finally welcomed Damon onto the show for the first time — only to inform his guest as soon as he sat down that their time was up.

Damon got his revenge in 2008 by co-starring with Kimmel’s then-girlfriend Sarah Silverman in “I’m F—ing Matt Damon,” a viral video that inspired an equally popular sequel, “I’m F—ing Ben Affleck.” In the years since, Damon has done cameo appearances in several pre-taped Live comedy bits, including this extended sketch from 2010′s post-Oscars episode — but he’s never sat on Jimmy’s couch for a regular interview.

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First promo for new Arsenio Hall show features nothing but the woof -- VIDEO

“Some say he’s only a legend,” a deep, Don LaFontaine-esque voice intones as sirens blare and a frightened woman hurries down a dark city street. “Some say he never existed at all. But others swear that when night grips the city, if you close your eyes and listen — really listen — you can still hear the pulse-pounding, hair-raising, spine-chilling sounds of… the Wolfman.”

Wait. Strike that. What the voice meant to say was “the Woofman,” as in Arsenio Hall — who’s returning to late night next fall with an all-new syndicated talk show. Can this new series survive in a TV landscape that barely resembles that of Hall’s early ’90s heyday? We won’t know for months — but this first promo for the show proves that there’s life in the old dog pound yet.

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This week's 'SNL' brought to you by Anne Hathaway's hair -- VIDEO

Anne Hathaway is a divisive figure. Some praise her whole-hearted commitment to every role; others sneer that she always seems like she’s trying too hard. But either way, everyone should agree on one thing: She’s really pulling off that Audrey Hepburn crop.

Perhaps that’s why Hathaway’s hair gets third billing — right after Jason Sudeikis — in the promos for her upcoming Saturday Night Live stint. As a third-time host, Hathaway should be goofy, charming, and a little bit nerdy, if this video is any indication — and we can also expect her pixie cut to get plenty of attention. Get a first look at the Les Mis star’s SNL return engagement here:

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Jimmy Fallon to broadcast new show tonight, despite Sandy

Hurricane Sandy hasn’t bested every late night Jimmy.

Earlier today, Jimmy Kimmel Live announced that it was canceling tonight’s show, which was to be taped at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, on account of the storm that’s raging across the East Coast. But Kimmel’s rival Jimmy Fallon still plans to tape tonight’s Late Night no matter what — even if he has to do it without his customary live audience.

“Midtown NYC is empty, but we are still doing a live show!” Fallon tweeted this morning, attaching a photo of a barren Manhattan avenue. He followed that message with a promise to give every member of tonight’s audience a free pint of Ben & Jerry’s before revealing that he’d have no live spectators after all: “We sent our audience home just to be safe,” he explained via Twitter this afternoon. “But we are doing our show tonight anyway. Should be fun.”

SNL‘s Seth Meyers, Top Chef‘s Padma Lakshmi, and the band Imagine Dragons will all appear on Late Night tonight.

Read more:
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'Jimmy Kimmel Live' Brooklyn shows to go on despite storm

At least there’s plenty of material for monologues. Jimmy Kimmel Live will still film this week’s shows at the Brooklyn Academy of Music starting Monday, as scheduled, despite Hurricane Sandy. “We are bringing in back-up generators and will be able to do our show in the event of a power failure,” a rep for the show tells EW in a statement. “We are also flying staff and crew out earlier to beat the storm. We have had no audience drop-outs so far despite news of the storm.” Earlier today, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo ordered the suspension of all subway, bus and commuter railroad service starting at 7 p.m. ET Sunday.

Scheduled guests include Chris Rock, Kelly Ripa, and Alicia Keys on Oct. 29; Howard Stern, Tracy Morgan, and Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings on Oct. 30; David Letterman and Vampire Weekend on Oct. 31; and Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and the Avett Brothers featuring the Brooklyn Philharmonic on Nov. 1. Guests for Nov. 2 are still to be announced.

Read more:
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More ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ coverage

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