Though Conan O’Brien, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, Trevor Noah, and Jimmy Fallon have all being doing various bits from the comfort of their own homes for the last couple of weeks, it would seem that the lion’s share of late night talk/panel shows are returning starting tomorrow.
Already, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee did an entire episode on TBS from the woods of Sam Bee’s home with their aid of her husband Jason Jones and her kids, complete with remote segments and remote interviews. Last Week Tonight just aired an episode shot from Oliver’s house, but it seemed to maintain the tone, energy, vibe, and even look of the original show.
Through very clever set-ups that will feature perhaps the smallest crews (maybe 1 or 2 people max?) and monologue jokes and bits written and submitted remotely from writers that are maintaining sheltering at home and social distancing, the likes of Conan, Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Seth Meyers, Desus & Mero, and A Little Late with Lilly Singh will return tonight at their regularly scheduled times.
We’ll really get to see how far the quality of a video shot on mobile devices and via video conferencing will really go on broadcast TV, but, no matter what happens, any shred of normalcy is more than welcome right now. Thus far, many of the bits from Conan along with the monologues from Colbert, Kimmel, and Meyers maintain a lot of the integrity from a typical episode of their show, just without a fancy set and professional grade broadcast quality cameras.
All things considered, this might be a quietly historic night of television in establishing a hopefully temporary new normal for the first wave of TV shows to return to air/production.
If we had to take a guess, the future late night in general will very likely be done more remotely and venture outside of the studio or involve video conferencing/live streaming way more than they have in the past when all is said and done with staying indoors.