DAVID BIANCULLI

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The Morning After... "Heroes," "Monday Night Football" and "Last Call with Carson Daly"
December 4, 2007  | By David Bianculli
 
If you watched TV last night, you were witness to, among other things, two abrupt endings and one uneasy beginning. ESPN's Monday Night Football went down to the last second, with the Baltimore Ravens coming two yards shy of ruining the New England Patriots' perfect record. NBC's Heroesended its second volume with a gunshot and, just to tease us, showed the first seconds of volume three.

And then, 97 minutes past midnight on NBC, Last Call with Carson Daly became the first late-night show to return during the writers' strike.

Carson Daly

Daly came out with no fanfare, sat at his desk, and joked, "Good to see the batteries in the applause sign still work after a month."

He offered reasons for coming back, some joking ("We ran out of repeats") and some serious ("75 members of my loyal staff and crew were going to be laid off").

"I miss my writers," Daly said. "None of this is written, clearly. It's not fun to be up here with no safety net and no writers, but I'll figure it out."

Good luck with that.

"We look like a car in the late-night fleet," he added. "But believe me when I tell you, under our hood in a 1982 Pinto engine."

Even a Pinto would have run more smoothly than last night's Last Call, which never even turned over the ignition. After proposing that he might fill time, over the coming shows, by doing more interviews and featuring more bands, he then filled time before the first commercial break by showing pictures of his crew during down time.

Then, when that was over, he asked, "How much time do we have left to kill?"

At that point, he had one minute - until the first ad break.

But the rest of the time the show has to kill, from now until the strike is over, looks to be deadly dull.

 
 
 
 
 
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