Johnny Carson coming back in reruns on Tribune Broadcasting channel
Perhaps the most beloved late night talk show host ever to fill the slot,Johnny Carson is retuning to the air.
Tribune Broadcasting, a unit of Chicago-based Tribune Media Co. (NYSE: TRBAA), said today it has inked a multiyear agreement with Carson Entertainment Group to air first-ever regular reruns of “The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson” on Antenna TV, Tribune Broadcasting’s multicast network.
Antenna TV airs in 102 markets nationwide, including Chicago, and reaches 78 percent of all television households nationally.
The Carson reruns, which will start Jan. 1, 2016, mark the first time the shows will air in a strip since Carson went off the air in 1992.
Though Carson dreamed of being a magician, he would prove to be a powerful and lasting talk show presence instead. In his three decades hosting “The Tonight Show,” he interviewed 25,000 guests ranging from David Letterman to Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld and Bette Midler. The Carson reruns will include episodes from the 1970s, 80s and 90s, including the episode in which Jackie Gleason made his only appearance on the show.
Tribune Broadcasting said it plans to air “The Tonight Show” reruns at the same time every night to give new viewers a sense of what it was like for fans who religiously tuned each evening to watch Carson’s monologue before even thinking of going to bed.
Tribune Media and Carson Entertainment executives believe talk show icon Carson will prove just as relevant now as he was originally. “This is a fantastic opportunity for people to relive this wonderful piece of American history,” noted Jeff Sotzing, president of Carson Entertainment.