Q: You mentioned earlier about sort of the "white guy" aspect of late-night television, and I'm wondering if you have a theory about why it's taken so long for things to get mixed up.

A: Well, it's very exclusive, obviously. And it's always been network-run. In having the sitcom and seeing the commitment that it takes for an executive to put a show into the hands of somebody—regardless of whatever color they are—is a big decision.

You know, Johnny [Carson] was there for 30 years. Then Jay [Leno] inherited that and he was there, I think, 18 years. And [David] Letterman has just been around for almost 30 years. So the opportunities are less.

But with the success of cable, [it's] now making network TV look like it's [almost] standing still when you're talking about Weeds and Californication and True Blood and Bored to Death and Curb Your Enthusiasm and Mad Men and Breaking Bad. [These are] great shows that are on cable that necessarily wouldn't fit on network because they just wouldn't be allowed to be as good as they are on cable. Cable now has become the first place to go when you have a show.


I tell everybody it's not just about doing good. We want to win—and we don't want to win against shows we're not up against. We just want to win for our time, for 11 p.m. to 12 a.m. I'm more afraid of the telenovela than I am about any particular hour drama on another network.


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