NBC Studio tapings: Later


Seeing Stars: Free Tickets to Studio Tapings

(taped live at the NBC Studios in Burbank)
3000 W. Alameda Avenue,
Burbank, CA. / (818) 840-3537

Besides "The Tonight Show," another late night talk show was taped at the NBC Studios in Burbank: it wascalled "Later."

This show lived up to its name, airing locally on KNBC (Channel 4), weekdays at 1:35 AM, following both "The Tonight Show" and "Late Night with Conan O'Brien." And ticket were available to its tapings.

When the show premiered in 1988, it was hosted by sportscaster Bob Costas. His first weeks' guests included singer Cris Isaak, Presidential son Ron Reagan, and actors Emilio Estevez, Tom Arnold, and Charleton Heston. Bob left the show in 1994.

The next host was Greg Kinnear, when the show became known as "LATER with Greg Kinnear." But the format stayed the same: one-on-one interviews with actors, authors, comedians, filmmakers, musicians, athletes, and other talk show hosts.

The stars really shone during Greg's years on the show, with the guests including: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Martin Short, Phil Hartman, George Carlin, Marilu Henner, Roseanne, Kevin Spacey, Peter Frampton, Ron Reagan, Ellen Degeneres, Tom Arnold, Lou Gossett, Jr., Robert Wagner, Jacqueline Bisset, Clint Black, Dick Clark, Tom Snyder, Kelsey Grammer, James Brown, Dennis Rodman, Kirk Douglas, Jay Leno, Melissa Etheridge, Suzanne Somers, Randy Travis, Courteney Cox, Rosie O'Donnell, Teri Hatcher, Jennifer Tilly, George Clooney, Melissa Gilbert, Pauly Shore, Willie Nelson, Henry Winkler, John Laroquette. Sid Caesar, Wayne Gretzky, George Wendt, Wayne Newton, Brett Butler, John Lithgow, Leslie Nielsen, Duran Duran, Kathy Ireland, Little Richard, John Tesh, Danny Glover, Paula Abdul, Matt LeBlanc, Boy George, Tori Spelling, Jonathan Silverman and William Shatner.

But in late 1996, Greg Kinnear moved on to try his hand as a movie actor, co-starring with Harrison Ford in "Sabrina," and with Meg RyanTom Hanks in "You've Got Mail."

Since Greg left, the show never really recovered. For a while, they haad been juggling a number of different hosts, often celebrities interviewing celebrities, such as when supermodel Cindy Crawford spent a week interviewing the likes of comedian Howie Mandel, actor Neil Patrick Harris ("Doogie Howser M.D."), and actor Robert Pastorelli ("Murphy Brown"). In a way, NBC had been using the show as a way to audition new celebrity hosts. Other guest hosts have included Jon Stewart, Alexandra Wentworth, Jay Thomas, David Alan Grier, Jeff Cesario, Peter Tilden, George Wallace, Geraldo Rivera, Marc Maron, Carol Leifer, Al Roker, Tommy Davidson, Ahmad Rashad and Dave Chappelle.

Alas, the quality of the guests seemed to slip as the years went by, but they had managed to book such big-name celebs as Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Ann-Margaret, Mare Winningham, Dennis Franz, Pam  Dawber, Martin Mull, Jon Lovitz, Jerry SeinfeldDavid Schwimmer, Edward James Olmos, Milton Berle, Ice-T, Larry Miller, Jane Curtin, David Hyde-Pierce and Garry Marshall.

Right now, in early 2001, it looks like NBC has abandoned "Later" altogether. They are currently showing reruns of the old "SCTV" comedy show in the time slot, with the header "Later presents SCTV"... Which probably means that the show is permanently on its way out, and they are just juggling reruns temporarily until they find a replacement.

(But a new show, "Late Friday," has surfaced in the 1:35 AM time slot on Fridays, and tickets are now available to the tapings of that new show at NBC.)

(For ticket information and directions, see the article on tapings at NBC.)

[You can access Later's official website at: http://www.nbc.com/tvcentral/shows/later.]

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