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Trevor Noah Is Underwhelmed by Democrats’ Response to Trump


Welcome to Best of Late Night, a rundown of the previous night’s highlights that lets you sleep — and lets us get paid to watch comedy. If you’re interested in hearing from The Times regularly about great TV, sign up for our Watching newsletter and get recommendations straight to your inbox.

Late-night hosts spent plenty of time on Wednesday attacking President Trump’s nationally televised speech the previous night.

But they also poked fun at Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer, who had delivered the Democrats’ rebuttal from behind a single podium, standing joylessly and speaking in a subdued tone. Stephen Colbert called them “Congressional Democratic leaders and direct-to-DVD Addams Family Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi.”

And Trevor Noah slammed their presentation.

“Why are you sharing one podium? Goddamn it, you guys really are socialists. What are you doing? Also why do you look so grouchy? What is this? It looks like the hostess at IHOP just told them there’s no senior discount.” — TREVOR NOAH

Colbert also discussed the meeting that took place between Trump, Schumer and Pelosi on Wednesday, when they convened to negotiate an end to the government shutdown. Schumer told reporters immediately after the meeting that it had ended abruptly, with Trump storming out soon after it started because Pelosi said she would not support building a border wall.

“He slammed the table and walked out! He was so angry he did exercise. That’s not a good sign.” — STEPHEN COLBERT

Kevin Hart dropped by “The Late Show” on Wednesday, and Colbert wasted no time addressing the elephant in the room: Hart’s ouster as the host of this year’s Oscars, over homophobic Twitter posts and jokes he had made.

Ellen DeGeneres went to bat for Hart last week, saying she spoke on his behalf with a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and encouraging Hart to consider re-enlisting as host. But Hart put an end to the speculation on Wednesday morning when he appeared on “Good Morning America” and ruled out changing his mind. (Variety reported on Wednesday that the Oscars would go without a host this year for the first time in almost three decades.)

When Colbert pressed Hart on the issue, Hart insisted he was “over it” and said he didn’t want to continue addressing the story. “I don’t have anything else left to say,” he said. But he did lament that he would not be able to do the show. “I had some heat,” he said. “I had some real good jokes.” Then he previewed some of the quips, mostly about how uptight the stars in the audience are on Oscars night.

Most of the shows had taped too late on Tuesday to analyze Trump’s national address that night. So they got caught up on Wednesday.

“Trump spoke last night about the border, and in his speech Trump criticized Democrats, insulted immigrants and said we need a wall. By the end, anyone playing a Trump drinking game was like, ‘Call an ambulance.’” — JIMMY FALLON

“The president, as you know, has been very anti-immigrant since the one he’s married to stopped having sex with him.” — JIMMY KIMMEL

“A team of scientists in Brazil and Ireland have published a paper suggesting ways to genetically modify tomatoes to be spicy. Though, to be fair, people in Ireland already think tomatoes are spicy.” — SETH MEYERS

“It’s Day 19 of the government shutdown, which means it’s now officially lasted longer than my New Year’s resolution. I got winded and gave up halfway through the Planet Fitness application.” — STEPHEN COLBERT

Jimmy Kimmel invited a T.S.A. agent who’s been working for no pay during the government shutdown onto his show. Then he asked her to help him figure out which of three random pedestrians was high on pot.

Gwenyth Paltrow, virtuoso singer.

Senator Kamala Harris of California, who is high on the list of Democrats thought to be considering a run for president in 2020, will talk to Stephen Colbert on Thursday.



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New Roles for Showtime Executives in Wake of Moonves Ouster


Showtime announced on Thursday that Gary Levine and Jana Winograde would become the new presidents of entertainment at the cable network.

The move provides a new leadership structure three months after Showtime’s chief executive, David Nevins, was named the chief content officer of the cable network’s troubled parent company, CBS.

Mr. Nevins essentially got the creative portion of the CBS job that used to belong to Leslie Moonves, the former chief executive of CBS who was pushed out in September after being accused of sexual misconduct by numerous women. In the months since then, CBS has made several executive changes, including the appointment of Susan Zirinsky as president of its news division this week.

Mr. Nevins remains the chief executive and chairman at Showtime — the home of shows like “Billions” and “Ray Donovan” — and Mr. Levine and Ms. Winograde will both report to him.

A veteran of the network for 18 years, Mr. Levine was most recently the president of programming. He often sat side by side with Mr. Nevins at news media gatherings to discuss Showtime’s latest series.

Ms. Winograde joined Showtime in 2017 from ABC and had been the president of business operations at the premium cable channel.

Though Showtime has had success drawing subscribers for its stand-alone streaming service, its budget has lagged behind competitors like Netflix and HBO. In a statement announcing the promotions of Mr. Levine and Ms. Winograde, Mr. Nevins suggested that more money was coming Showtime’s way.

“As we invest more deeply in creating world class content for our audiences, this new structure positions us strongly for the future of our business,” Mr. Nevins said in a statement.

In addition, Showtime announced that Amy Israel, an eight-year veteran of the network, would become the executive vice president of scripted programming. And Vinnie Malhotra, formerly of CNN and ESPN, will become the executive vice president of nonfiction programming. He has been with Showtime since 2015.

One other change for Showtime: The network announced on Wednesday that it had moved its headquarters from an office building in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles to the Lot Studios in West Hollywood, Calif. It’s the latest example of an entertainment company’s heading back to the production centers of Hollywood’s golden age, with the recent rediscovery of old movie lots. In the silent era, the Lot Studios site was the moviemaking home for Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks.

Two years ago, Netflix moved its main Los Angeles operation from a nondescript office complex in Beverly Hills to a new tower on the Sunset Bronson Studios lot in Hollywood. And last year, Amazon Studios began shuffling its core executives from offices in Santa Monica, Calif., to Culver Studios.



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