NBC Developing Miniseries Based on Life of ‘Tonight Show’ Host Johnny Carson

johnny Carson

via press release:


Adapted From Bill Zehme’s Upcoming Bio ‘Carson the Magnificent,’ Project Will Examine the Revered TV Icon

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. — Sept. 19, 2013 — NBC is in development on a miniseries about the life of legendary late-night talk show host Johnny Carson.

Based on the upcoming biography “Carson the Magnificent: An Intimate Portrait” (Simon and Schuster) by Bill Zehme, the project will cover Carson’s legendary 30-year run (1962-92) as host of “The Tonight Show,” as well as his childhood growing up in Nebraska, his often secluded off-camera life and friendships he made throughout his career as one of the most beloved TV personalities of all time.

Casting for the iconic star will be named at a later date.

Carson, who interviewed more than 22,000 guests from the show’s home in both New York City and Burbank, Calif., is revered by today’s talk show hosts as a huge inspiration in their respective careers. Comedians often cite their first appearance on the Carson-hosted “Tonight Show” as their big break into show business.

Zehme, long regarded for his colorful chronicling of the late-night TV landscape, is one of the few journalists to have had access to Carson, and wrote an extensive profile of him, “The Man Who Retired,” in the May 2002 edition of Esquire. He also served as production consultant on PBS’ 2012 “American Masters” documentary “Johnny Carson: King of Late Night.”

The project will be executive produced by Zehme and John Davies. Emmy Award-nominated for the NBC Special “A Comedy Salute to Andy Kaufman,” Davies has executive produced multiple series and specials, including the NBC summer comedy series “The Rerun Show,” the Bravo comedy interview series “Second City Presents … with Bill Zehme,” the NBC Special “A Comedy Salute to Michael Jordan” and the MTV series “Run’s House.”

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