With the TV-watching world still abuzz over Sunday night’s (February 7) Super Bowl ad featuring David Letterman and Jay Leno, this week opens with an interesting scenario for both hosts (and the entire late night landscape). Leno’s final show is Tuesday night (February 9), and he’ll be off the air until after the Winter Olympics wrap up. He’ll then return as the host of “The Tonight Show,” which will begin a whole new ratings war between himself and Letterman, and he’ll end his run in prime time with Emma Roberts on Monday and Ashton Kutcher and Bob Costas on Tuesday.
But that’s for down the road. This week’s late night offerings are another eclectic mix of movie stars, TV personalities and excellent bands. For example, Tuesday night’s “The Late Show with David Letterman” is one of the best trifectas in recent memory: “Valentine’s Day” star Jennifer Garner, the cover model for the new swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated and a performance by Sade. Now that’s an hour of television. Letterman will also have Oscar nominees Sandra Bullock on Monday and Christoph Waltz on Wednesday (February 10).
Away from the late night wars, Jimmy Kimmel (aided by announcer Dicky Barrett, whose band put out an excellent album last year) will sit down with the likes of Mark Wahlberg on Friday (February 12) and Emily Blunt on Wednesday (that show will also feature a performance by excellent Scottish band the Editors).
Meanwhile, Jimmy Fallon has quietly begun crafting the new best late night show on television. This week, he’s got guests like Stephen Colbert (Monday), James Van Der Beek and Regina Spektor (Tuesday) and Yeasayer (Wednesday). Plus, as always, you get the Roots. While Letterman and Leno re-spark their always-entertaining feud, Fallon has got the market cornered on actual late night entertainment.