Movieline Has the Final Word on Conangate -- and the First Interview with the Author

WarForLateNight225.jpgBack in February, Viking confirmed that Bill Carter, the bestselling author of the Late Shift had flown to Los Angeles to begin research on a new book chronicling the latest late night shakedown at NBC. Proof of the project arrived earlier this week online via cover art for The War For Late Night: When Leno Went Early and Television Went Crazy (pictured right) and a September release date. Anxious to hear more about the surefire bestseller, Movieline phoned Carter earlier this week to discuss the impending release date and whether Jay Leno is really as cold and calculating as Conan fans make him out to be.

In between writing for the New York Times and wrapping up research for the book, Carter found a few minutes to discuss his latest literary effort.

"I'm doing my best," Carter said about making the fall release date. "I'm working on it but to get it out that fast will be tough. I'm working pretty steadily on it."

Responding to whether Leno's second scramble for Tonight Show power is a reflection of his character, Carter said: "I don't think it is a character question at all. That is certainly something that has been examined by outsiders, particularly by Conan fans -- that he had some deliberate hand in what happened. I'm going to examine the details in that without making a decision one way or the other. I'll let the story tell itself and people can draw their own conclusions."

To read Carter's full discussion with Movieline -- where he discusses the possibility of his book being adapted into another HBO movie, the rumor that NBC is turning on Jimmy Fallon and a Tonight Show Emmy showdown -- check back here next week. Meanwhile, go ahead and pre-order your complete guide to ConanGate.


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