New York Times bestseller: A 'gripping' true story of late-night comedy and behind-the-scenes drama (Los Angeles Times). When beloved host Johnny Carson announced his retirement after thirty years on The Tonight Show, millions of Americans mourned. But inside the television industry, the news ignited a battle between two amazing talents-Jay Leno and David Letterman-who both yearned to occupy the departing legend's chair. For NBC, it would be a decision with millions of dollars at stake. Soon these two comedians with strikingly different styles, who had once shared a friendship as they worked the clubs together, would be engaged in a fierce competition for the prize. Based on in-depth reporting and interviews with those involved, and updated with a new introduction by the author, The Late Shift is a 'vivid, behind-the-scenes, blow-by-blow account' of the fight that ensued, as stars, agents, and executives maneuvered for control of the most profitable program in TV history (Chicago Tribune).