|Lopez Tonight (TV series)|
TBS "Lopez Tonight" talk show promotional poster with host George Lopez (2009)
|Starring:||George Lopez (as host)|
|Executive Producer(s):||George Lopez & Robert Morton|
|Camera||Multicamera/Live & Videotaped (Talk show)|
|Runtime:|| 60 minutes|
|No. of episodes:||286 (aired Monday-Saturday weeknights)|
|Production company(ies):|| 2.2 Productions|
Warner Horizon Television
|Picture format:||1080i (16:9 HDTV)|
|Original broadcast run:||November 9, 2009 - August 8, 2011|
Lopez Tonight was a late-night television talk show that was hosted by comedian George Lopez. The hour-long program premiered on November 9, 2009, on cable network TBS. Lopez was the first Mexican-American to host a late-night talk show on an English-language network in the United States. The show featured audience interaction using a high-energy format. The program aired Monday through Thursday at midnight Eastern and Pacific, immediately following Conan. On August 10, 2011, TBS announced that Lopez Tonight would be canceled. The final episode aired the following night.
CEO of TBS, Phillip Kent, announced in March 2009 that George Lopez had signed a contract to host his own late-night talk show on TBS in November of that year. During interviews, Lopez said that he would bring the change to late-night television and that he wants the show to reach a diverse audience. He also stated that he would become the first Hispanic American to host a late-night talk show. The show debuted on November 9, 2009, with guests Kobe Bryant, Eva Longoria, as well as a special appearance from Ellen DeGeneres and a musical performance from Carlos Santana.
Arrival of Conan O'Brien and cancellation
The 2010 Tonight Show Conflict resulted in Conan O'Brien's departure from NBC-TV and The Tonight Show. Jay Leno returned to The Tonight Show, abandoning his prime time experiment, The Jay Leno Show. As a part of his severance deal, O'Brien was given a $32 million payout, a $12 million payout for his show's staff, and the ability to pursue options on other channels after September 1, 2010.
Hours before O'Brien's Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour, O'Brien officially announced he had signed with TBS to create his own late-night talk show at 11:00 pm beginning in November 2010, thus pushing Lopez Tonight back to midnight. O'Brien was hesitant at first, saying he didn't want to do that to Lopez after what NBC had done to him, but Lopez himself called him and persuaded him to take the job. On the April 12 edition of Lopez Tonight, George addressed the situation by saying, "I was on Team Coco, now I'm on Team Loco!".
However, the move caused a steep decline in ratings. On August 10, 2011, TBS canceled Lopez Tonight effective at the end of the week.
O'Brien said of the announcement on his show, taping just hours after it was confirmed, "I want to take one second right now and talk about something serious. Today, not long ago—a couple of hours ago—it was announced that TBS is not renewing George Lopez's show for a third season. I have very strong feelings about this, and I wanted to talk about it. Had it not been for George being so incredibly supportive of me a year and a half ago, I would not have come to TBS and we would not be doing this show right now. I owe that man a lot, and frankly, it makes me very sad that TBS and George could not work this out. I really like being a part of a late-night lineup with George, and I wish that this could've continued. So, tonight, all of our thoughts are with George and his entire staff and crew. We understand, believe me, how hard this is for all of you, and we wish you all the best."
The show followed the established six-piece format established by the likes of Steve Allen and Johnny Carson. The first segment included a monologue by Lopez, sometimes accompanied by several one-liners, or several brief comedy sketches. Most episodes also included a second segment, immediately after the monologue, with a full comedy sketch. An interview with either one or two guests followed, as well as a musical or comedy performance.
Sketches introduced on the show include Bullet Wound or Not a Bullet Wound, a stereotypical game show similar to Jay Leno's "Jaywalking" where guests must answer seemingly racist questions, Creepy Little White Girl in which a horrific little girl appears on the stage to deliver bad news, The Jersey Shore Presents, a mocking piece where cast members of Jersey Shore star in hit movies, Sweet Tweets where Lopez answers questions submitted from Twitter, WWE Superstars Karoake where many WWE Superstars performed karaoke songs, Justin Bieber's Memories a segment that mocks Justin Bieber and his childhood, and "Eric Estrada" where colored lights flash and various guests, including Benjamin Bratt and Jon Cryer come out of the double doors in a California Highway Patrol motorcycle uniform.
Studio and set design
The show was taped at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California near The Ellen DeGeneres Show studio. The stage layout followed a street-party theme. The show differed from many other late-night talk shows, most notably for not featuring a desk or background of the city in which the show is taped.
Lopez TonightTemplate:'s house band was Michael Bearden and the Ese Vato's, who are famous for performances with Michael Jackson and Shakira. The band consisted of leader and keyboard player Michael Bearden, guitarist Tommy Organ, bass player Alex Al, bongo player Lenny Castro, trumpeter Bill Churchville, drummer Robin DiMaggio and saxophonist Sean Holt. As in common talk show format, Michael Bearden and the Ese Vato's would perform the show's opening and closing theme, bumpers into and out of commercial breaks. The show's opening theme was "Lowrider" by the band War, which was also the theme song for George Lopez.
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