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'SNL' exclusive promo photo: Jim Carrey loves you, Studio 8H

SNL-Jim-Carey-WiggImage Credit: Dana Edelson/NBCWhy are Saturday Night Live host Jim Carrey, Kristen Wiig, and musical guests The Black Keys laughing in this exclusive promo photo for this Saturday’s episode? I’d like to think it’s because someone’s headed over with two jean jackets to help Wiig and Dan Auerbach complete the Canadian Tuxedo look. Seriously, they were two-thirds of the way there! Massive lapse in judgment not completing that look, guys.

Who’s psyched for this Saturday’s show — and secretly hoping Carrey talks out of his butt, Ace Ventura-style?

More on Jim Carrey from EW :
Jim Carrey on Inside the Actor’s Studio: EW exclusive sneak peek!
Jim Carrey’s ‘SNL’ promos: He’s back!
‘Saturday Night Live’ starts 2011 with Jim Carrey and the Black Keys
‘I Love You Phillip Morris’ but we hate you Ace Ventura: PopWatch Rewind looks back on Jim Carrey’s career
‘I Love You Phillip Morris’ EW review

Gwyneth Paltrow, Cee Lo Green set for 'SNL'

Gwyneth Paltrow will host Saturday Night Live on Jan. 15, with musical guest Cee Lo Green, NBC announced today. Paltrow has previously hosted twice, but this will be her first appearance since 2001; this will be Green’s first appearance.

Read more:
Gwyneth Paltrow and Cee Lo Green: Recording together?

Dick Clark rocks New Year's Eve ratings

ABC and Dick Clark rocked its competition on New Year’s Eve, more than doubling its holiday rival in the ratings. Dick Clark’s Primetime New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest drew 9.1 million viewers during its 10 o’clock hour, dwarfing Carson Daly’s special on NBC, which was viewed by 3.9 million. CBS’s repeat of Tom Selleck’s Blue Bloods grabbed 6.1 million viewers. According to Variety, Nielsen had not yet released figures for the post-primetime timeslots, but ABC and Dick Clark’s show were expected to dominate the midnight hours as well.

More New Year’s Eve TV:
Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper ring in 2011: The Special Relationship continues

Snooki’s ball dropped: Raise your fratboy-party Dixie Cup to 2011!

'Saturday Night Live' starts 2011 with Jim Carrey and the Black Keys

Jim Carrey will host Saturday Night Live on Jan. 8, marking his second time headlining the show. The I Love You Phillip Morris star will be joined by musical guests the Black Keys.

Robert De Niro, Paul Rudd, and Jeff Bridges to host 'SNL'

Robert De Niro will be talkin’ to us … on the Dec. 4 episode of Saturday Night Live, according to NBC. The star of the upcoming Little Fockers — who has hosted twice before — will be joined by musical guest Diddy-Dirty Money. The next week, How Do You Know headliner Paul Rudd will host for the second time with musical guest/living legend Paul McCartney, while Dec. 18′s show will be hosted by TRON: Legacy‘s Jeff Bridges, returning for his second stint with musical guest Eminem. Can we expect Shy Ronnie to make his second appearance of the season?

'Conan' is the most watched late-night show of the week among young viewers

According to TBS reports, Conan O’Brien’s new talk show, Conan, averaged 2.2 million viewers between ages 18-49 in its first week, topping all other late-night programs. A total of 4.2 million tuned in to Conan‘s Nov. 8 premiere, and the show averaged 2.9 million viewers for the week, with a projected median age of 32. “Conan is a big hit among young viewers, with a median age that is more than two decades younger than the show’s rivals on broadcast,” said Michael Wright, executive vice president, head of programming for TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies (TCM).

Read more:
‘Conan’: What Is/Isn’t Working

'Conan' early ratings: How many folks saw his TBS debut?

Conan O’Brien drew 4.2 million viewers to his new 11 p.m. cable talk show last night, according to TBS figures. Conan earned a 2.8 rating among Nielsen’s 56 metered markets. That means an average minute of Conan was watched by 2.8 percent of the homes in those markets. Conan nabbed 3.3 million viewers who were in the important 18-49 demo, and the projected median age for its viewers was a youthful 30.

George Lopez’ Lopez Tonight, which aired after Conan, earned a 1.1 rating.

Changes in store for 'Lopez Tonight'

george-lopezImage Credit: Gavin Bond/TBSThe much-anticipated debut of Conan O’Brien’s talk show Conan Nov. 8 on TBS will give George Lopez the rare opportunity to relaunch his year-old TBS talk show, Lopez Tonight, in a new midnight time slot. This season, Lopez has been in 21st place among basic-cable shows, averaging 864,000 people ages 18–49, behind 11 p.m. competitors like Family Guy reruns (1.5 million), Law & Order: SVU repeats (929,000), and The Daily Show (917,000). Now executive-produced by late-night guru Robert Morton (Late Show With David Letterman), Lopez Tonight will follow O’Brien’s production schedule—four days a week, up from three. And just like O’Brien and the other late-night hosts, Lopez will start performing live to tape.

Previously Lopez would spin his wheels in front of cameras for two and a half hours before his show was edited for broadcast. “I’m a big believer in old-school training,” Morton tells EW. “We have to make it feel like it’s happening now, live. It has to have that pace.”

Other tweaks that Morton says are in store for the show include moving the taping from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. each day to attract “better audiences” looking for that “night-out experience,” along with a new set that will separate Lopez’s desk from the performing area (“Viewers like to know the geography of a show”). Look for more conceptual funny pieces and remote packages, Morton promises, and shorter interviews. “These guys just needed liberation,” explains Morton. “I told George not to sell the comedy card too hard. He should feel free to write anything. Conan’s taking chances, so he should follow that lead.”

Lopez’s relaunch-week guests include Denzel Washington, Hilary Duff, and Bret Michaels.

For now, TBS is keeping mum about what type of ratings it hopes O’Brien’s new show will average or whether Conan is expected to eclipse The Daily Show at 11 p.m. “We expect him to be competitive,” says Michael Wright, head of programming for TBS. But Wright has no doubt that O’Brien will have an immediate impact on TBS’ existing late-night franchise. “George has done an admirable job developing a brand-new show from scratch with four different lead-ins on four different nights,” says Wright. “Audience flow is crucial. We expect Conan to be a win-win for George.”

Letterman ties Leno among adults 18-49 for first time this season

late-night-ratingsAll eyes have been on the winners and losers in prime time since the 2010-11 season started last month, but the competition in late night has stayed no less fascinating. To wit: For the week ending Oct. 8, David Letterman matched Jay Leno among adults 18-49 for the first time this TV season and won the week in adults 25-54, according to Nielsen ratings.

The Late Show and The Tonight Show both posted a 0.9 rating/4 share in the key demographic. Leno still led Letterman in total viewers (3.5 million versus 3.4 million) but its always worth noting when the CBS host manages to catch up (or even beat) the chinned one in the demo NBC traditionally dominates in the 11:30 hour. Each 18-49 ratings point represents 1.3 million viewers.

But the season is still young. In fact, Tonight has led Late Show by a 5 percent margin in 18-49 viewers (1.2 million vs. 1.2 million) for the first three weeks of the season, NBC reports, which reverses the order at this same point a year ago, when Late Show held a 12 percent lead (1.5 million vs. 1.3 million). In total viewers, Tonight also leads Late Show through three weeks of the new season by a 3 percent margin (3.7 million vs. 3.6 million).

Season to date, Leno is leading in 18-49 in late night with a 1.0/4, followed by Nightline (1.0/4), Letterman (0.9/4), Jimmy Fallon (0.6/3), Jimmy Kimmel (0.5/3), Craig Ferguson (0.5/3) and Carson Daly (0.4/3). In total viewers, Leno also leads with 3.7 million, followed by Nightline (3.7 million), Letterman (3.6 million), Kimmel (1.7 million), Late Night (1.7 million), Late Late Show (1.8 million) and Daly (1 million).

Joaquin Phoenix will return to 'Late Show with David Letterman'

CBS announced today that Joaquin Phoenix will return to Late Show with David Letterman on Sept. 22. This will mark Phoenix’s first TV appearance and first visit back to Letterman’s couch since his memorable appearance on Feb. 11, 2009. The visit ended up on YouTube and attracted 8 million views.

In anticipation of his visit, CBS will rebroadcast his Feb. 11, 2009 appearance on Sept. 16.

Phoenix is the subject of the documentary film, I’m Still Here, directed by actor Casey Affleck.  The film follows Phoenix as he announces his retirement from his film career to his decision to reinvent himself as a hip-hop musician.

Read more:
Joaquin Phoenix on Letterman: Real or hoax, that was good TV
‘I’m Still Here’ trailer: Is Joaquin fascinating, or simply in need of a good shave and a nap?
‘I’m Still Here’ EW review

EW Exclusive: Amy Poehler to host 'SNL' premiere

amy-poehlerImage Credit: Tommaso Boddi/PR PhotosEW.com has learned that Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation) will host Saturday Night Live when the late-night comedy show returns to NBC on Sept. 25. (Katy Perry will be the musical guest.) Poehler, who was a member of the SNL troupe from 2001-2008, earned her fourth Emmy nomination this summer for playing Leslie Knope on Parks. The single-camera comedy from Greg Daniels and Michael Schur will begin its third year on NBC later this season (see the Peacock’s fall premiere schedule here).

SNL, which is about to begin its 36th year on NBC, will also add four featured players to the mix this season to help fill the void left by Will Forte. EW has confirmed they are actor/comedian Taran Killam, who’s appeared on Mad TV and How I Met Your Mother, Chicago-based comedians Paul Brittain and Vanessa Bayer, and newcomer Jay Pharoah, who has performed on BET’s “One Mic Stand.” READ FULL STORY

Seth MacFarlane's next project: A big band album!

Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane used his appearance on The Tonight Show Thursday to reveal his next project  – a big band album.  According to a transcript released prior to the show, MacFarlane tells Jay Leno that he’s working on an album for Universal Republic Records and that it will feature “swing arrangements of classic tunes.  We kind of deliberately touched stuff that the Deans (Martin) and the Franks (Sinatra) and the Sammys (Davis Jr.) didn’t do yet.”

After the announcement, MacFarlane took the microphone and sang “Cream in My Coffee” with backup from The Tonight Show band.

Leno’s other guest was Mickey Rourke while the night’s musical performance came from the Plain White T’s.

Conan O'Brien gets Emmy push from TBS

conan-ad-tbsImage Credit: TBSTBS is launching an Emmy campaign for Conan O’Brien for work he did while working for NBC. Beginning today, print ads touting his hosting time on The Tonight Show will debut in Hollywood trade publications as well as Entertainment Weekly and the Los Angeles Times to help O’Brien score a nod when the nominations come out July 8.  One reads “For your consideration, outstanding achievement in the use of SPF 150. From your new friends at TBS.” The other includes a picture of O’Brien with the words,  “Give this man one more thing to tweet about.”

O’Brien will debut on TBS on Nov. 8, more than two months after the Emmys air Aug. 29 on NBC. “Conan’s great work in 2009 and 2010 deserves Emmy consideration,” said Turner Entertainment Networks President Steve Koonin in a statement.  We’re very excited to have him join TBS later this year.”

NBC is campaigning on behalf of its late night stars, but only its current ones. Jimmy Fallon will host the Emmys.

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