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Lopez Tonight – Rating: A

Submitted by on November 13, 2009 – 7:45 AMNo Comment
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The ALMA Awards ShowTalk shows generally do not generate a whole lot of buzz.  Leno has been an exception to the rule with his network change and the switch to 10 pm.  Even though much of his buzz has not been the most positive the fact remains that any buzz is good buzz.

Like NBC, TBS has put a lot of time and money into generating buzz around cable television’s first foray into the late night talk show with Lopez Tonight.  TBS has tried hard to portray it as the new late-night party, a revolution, something different than the rest of the talk show glut.

They were right.

George Lopez brings a fresh, new voice to a format almost as old as television itself.  While much has been said about minority representation the fact that a person of Latin descent is hosting has nothing to do with what will make this show a success.

Being on cable television allows the producers to take off some of the restrictions that Leno, Letterman, Ferguson, Fallon, and every other late night host is saddled with.  Typical talk show banter is pretty vanilla; almost scrubbed clean (possibly to keep from offending anyone, especially sponsors).  Being on cable, Lopez does not have to worry about that.

On his first night he took full advantage of that.  He was not vulgar, but talked more like people do on a day to day basis.  It seemed more like you were hanging out with one of the guys rather than watching a question and answer session.

It helps to have friends which George Lopez proved he did with his first set of guests.  Scheduled were Eva Longoria Parker, Kobe Bryant, and Carlos Santana, but the guest that stole the show was Ellen DeGeneres.  She showed up in pajamas, carrying a teddy bear, to “complain” about the noise.  Oh yeah- she came bearing jello shots for everyone, too.  Who knows if this trend is going to stay, but no one plugged anything.

In this day and age there are no longer just the four major networks on television.  ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX are in full competition with TBS, TNT, USA, A&E, and a number of other cable networks for viewers making it harder to succeed, but giving the networks the opportunity to be more patient with a show.

TBS will not need patience with Lopez Tonight.  Some of the best shows on television are already on cable.  If the first show is any indication, the best talk show is on cable now too.

Beer: The Sonoran 200 from the Sonora Brewing Company in Arizona. Made from 2-Row Malt and Agave Nectar this beer will knock you on your behind in no time coming in at a whopping 19.37% ABV.  The sweet flavor that comes from adding Agave four weeks of fermentation and then 6 months of aging in oak caskets.  Any comedian will be funny after a few of these!