E! to Serve Up Daily Double of 'Last Call'

Add E! Entertainment Television to the list of cable networks that repurpose broadcast-network programming.

In a surprise move, E! last week said it would distribute the NBC late-night talk show Last Call with Carson Daly
hours after its initial run on the broadcast network.

Beginning March 4, the cable network will repeat each 1:35 a.m. play of Last Call
at 6 p.m. that day, according to representatives from both companies.

E! would also schedule additional weekend runs for the show, which airs Monday through Thursday on NBC.

E! president Mindy Herman said the deal provides the network with a show that fits 'perfectly' with the E! brand.

"This is a natural for us," Herman said. "The combination of Carson's dynamic personality, his inside track to Hollywood, and his ability to attract major stars from the world of entertainment truly appeals and speaks to our 18-to-49 audience," she said.

Since the show's launch last month, Daly — who also hosts MTV: Music Television's popular Total Request Live — has been able to attract top names from the worlds of music and entertainment to Last Call, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Alicia Keys and Heidi Klum.

While financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, Herman said the pact was not predicated on dollars but the ability to provide additional exposure to Last Call.

"This was much more about creating sampling opportunities for the show," Herman said. "It's a network-quality show with a big star that complements our schedule."

NBC and E! will work together to develop cross-promotional initiatives to maximize the series' visibility on both networks.

NBC West Coast president Scott Sassa said the broadcast network would benefit from the deal by increasing the show's exposure to viewers.

"In the end, our viewers are the winners," he said.

NBC's deal with E! was surprising, given Daly's ties with MTV. An MTV spokeswoman confirmed that it had talked with NBC about repeating Last Call, "but ultimately, we decided that we have Carson every day in what we feel is the best vehicle for him on the channel."

Sassa also said repurpoising Last Call
on NBC-owned cable networks CNBC or MSNBC "didn't make sense" given those networks' news format.

While Herman would not rule out similar repurposing deals for the network, she said no deals were imminent.

For a long time, E! has been running takedowns of Howard Stern's radio show.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.