Network rivalries aside, CBS honcho Les Moonves thinks President Barack Obama had no choice but to cancel his planned appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live."
TMZ broke the story ... the Prez was going to Kimmel's Hollywood studio at 3 PM Wednesday to appear on the show ... without a studio audience ... but he backed out.
Moonves said the appearance on a different network was no big deal ... but that Obama has too much going on right now in the world to hit up the late night shows.
Obama's press secretary said Tuesday given the 2 world crises it wasn't a good idea to appear on a comedy show.
Kimmel's people told TMZ we were flat out wrong about any Obama appearance on Kimmel Wednesday ... but the plan was in tact, to the point the Kimmel staff had to ante up their SSNs.
Congrats to Netflix ...
Chelsea's Just Too Raw for CBS
6/22/2014 12:10 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
It sounds like Chelsea Handler was never in the mix to replace David Letterman or Craig Ferguson ... because CBS head honcho Les Moonves says her comedy isn't a great fit for broadcast TV.
Moonves was leaving E Baldi in Beverly Hills on Thursday when our photog asked him for his opinion about the news Handler was going to host a talk show for Netflix starting in 2016.
The always honest Moonves said he thought the move was great for Chelsea because her "material will fit Netflix better" than it would on broadcast television.
Sounds like a win for everyone involved.
Has Eyes On CBS
4/15/2014 7:15 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Chelsea Handler is fanning the late night talk show flames, posting a photo on Instagram of her holding a pile of CBS papers ... which she termed a "business meeting."
Handler appears to be the next domino that will fall in the late night shuffle. She's leaving E! and the big buzz going around is that she'll replace Craig Ferguson, who is no doubt none too happy he didn't get David Letterman's gig.
We're told that as of last week, no decisions have been made at CBS or by Handler ... but the writing is clearly on the cue cards wall.
Back to Work ...
Cracking Rehab Jokes
8/2/2013 12:35 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Lindsay Lohan can take a joke -- even when she's the butt of it ... and she wasted no time teeing off on her latest rehab stint while guest hosting "Chelsea Lately."
Linds just wrapped her first gig since getting out of rehab on Tuesday -- and sources inside the show tell us she freely cracked jokes like, "I've been on a 90-day court ordered vacation."
In LiLo's defense ... she probably didn't write the jokes.
We're told Lindsay also busted on Chelsea Handler for drinking too much -- and overall was "very funny" ... especially during the round table segment with comedians Jen Kirkman and Fortune Feimster.
Linds also got some eye candy for her troubles -- getting to interview Dylan Bruce from the BBC show "Orphan Black."
Don't say Chelsea never did anything for you, Lindsay.
The taped episode is scheduled to air Monday.
Craig Ferguson Anthrax Scare
THE 911 CALL
'We Have 5 People Quarantined'
9/4/2011 7:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Security at Craig Ferguson's "Late Late Show" didn't take any chances during last month's anthrax scare -- telling the 911 operator they immediately quarantined everyone who had contact with the white powder as soon as they could.
TMZ obtained a copy of the 911 call -- made by a very cool, calm and collected security guard who wasn't one of the five people exposed to the powder.
As we previously reported, a deranged fan put the powder in an envelope and mailed it to CBS Television City in L.A, along with a threatening letter -- but an investigation proved the powder was nothing more than cornmeal.
So far, no arrests have been made.
Jimmy Kimmel's Uncle Frank
Dead at 77
8/23/2011 10:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
"Uncle Frank" Potenza -- the silver-haired ex-cop who charmed audiences on his nephew's show, "Jimmy Kimmel Live!", died early this morning ... reps from the show have confirmed.
Uncle Frank spent 20 years as a New York City police officer -- before eventually becoming a staple on Kimmel's late night show in 2003.
The show released an official statement on Frank's passing -- saying his "kindness and humor" will be missed.
The show has not revealed Frank's cause of death.
Uncle Frank was 77.
10:45 AM: Jimmy tweeted about the situation ... saying, "thank you for your kind words about a very kind man - my Uncle Frank - who passed away this morning."
Kimmel and Carolla
Man Date at
'Sex & the City 2'
5/28/2010 11:26 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Adam Carolla turned 46-years-old last night -- and his pal Jimmy Kimmel helped him celebrate with a movie date to see "Sex and the City 2." Check below for their glowing reviews ...
"It wasn't a movie ... it was a film!" -- Adam Carolla
"Can't a couple of guys have a gay experience together without being questioned?" -- Jimmy Kimmel
'American Idol' Bandleader
Headed for Leno
4/13/2010 8:30 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
TMZ has learned "American Idol" musical director Rickey Minor will become the new Kevin Eubanks on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."
We're told the announcement is supposed to be made tomorrow.
Minor has worked as a musical director for Beyonce, Ray Charles, Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera, Whitney Houston and many others. He was also musical director for the Grammy Awards and the Super Bowl.
Eubanks is leaving the show late next month... exactly the same time "Idol" goes on hiatus.
UPDATE: NBC has officially confirmed TMZ's story ... Minor will debut on "The Tonight Show" on June 7.
Conan O'Brien -- From TBD to TBS
4/12/2010 1:48 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
In a total shocker, Conan O'Brien will not be going to FOX ... but instead he's shacking up with TBS.
Conan will host a show Monday - Thursday at 11 PM EST -- getting a 30 minute jump on nemesis Jay Leno.
Once the show debuts, George Lopez's show -- "Lopez Tonight" -- will move to midnight. Short story for George -- the lead-in is a dream come true.
Conan just tweeted -- "The good news: I will be doing a show on TBS starting in November! The bad news: I'll be playing Rudy on the all new Cosby Show."
Olympic Conspiracy Theory
2/27/2010 2:55 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Scotty Lago thinks the woman who got down on her knees in Vancouver and simulated kissing his crotch -- the infamous photo that got him kicked out of Vancouver -- was a set-up, because she tried to do basically the same thing to Michael Phelps.
The bronze medal-winning snowboarder was super chatty on his way into "Jimmy Kimmel Live," claiming the chick who kissed his medal and then went South had also approached Michael Phelps and tried dragging him into a make-out session.
As for the Olympic Committee making him leave Vancouver before the closing ceremony -- Scotty says he's pissed.
May Bail on Jay Leno
2/16/2010 7:46 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Kevin Eubanks -- the longtime bandleader on Jay Leno's "The Tonight Show" -- may leave the show once it re-emerges after the Olympics.
K-EARTH 101 radio in L.A. first reported the story this AM. NBC has confirmed Kevin wants to tour and record and -- although he'll be there for Jay's debut next month -- his long-term prospects on the show are uncertain.
Selling Scar Tissue
12/18/2008 6:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Having trouble finding what to get the person who has everything on your Christmas list? How about some of Scarlett Johansson's germs?!
Jay Leno and ScarJo are selling the tissue the 24-year-old actress blew her nose into on last night's "Tonight Show" on eBay and giving the proceeds to the USA Harvest food charity. Yum.
With bids already surpassing $2K, Scarlett said her cold had "value" because she got it from her "Spirit" co-star Samuel L. Jackson. Snots on a Kleenex!
Plays the 'Race' Card
8/30/2008 5:15 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Tyrese tried to do a nice thing on last night's "Jimmy Kimmel Live," but even that didn't turn out right.
Usually he's kind of a douchebag, so imagine our surprise when -- live on air -- Tyrese promised to take the whole audience to a free screening of his new movie, "Death Race." Unfortunately, we're told some of the more excited fans showed up to the theater too quickly for the message to be relayed -- so they were denied.
Fans who showed closer to showtime were let in to a free screening with Tyrese himself. There was a small price to pay though -- they had to sit through the movie.