Johnny Carson-hosted 'Tonight Show' returning to late night

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"Here's Johnny!" Where, Exactly? Antenna TV


The late-night TV landscape is about to get even more competitive, thanks to Johnny Carson.

Reruns of the Carson-hosted Tonight Show are set to air on Antenna TV, Tribune Broadcasting's retro-themed channel, at 11 p.m. every weeknight starting Jan 1.

The reruns will air opposite TBS' Conan, Comedy Central's new Trevor Noah-hosted Daily Show and The Nightly Show and the first half hours of 11:30 p.m. broadcast late-night shows Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Late Show With Stephen Colbert and NBC's own Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

SEE ALSO: Ryan Seacrest to host live late night show at Rio Olympics

Starting in January, fans of the Carson-hosted Tonight Show will have another option to select from at 11 p.m. on weeknights. The multi-year pact between Tribune Broadcasting and Carson Entertainment Group marks the first time the Carson-hosted Tonight Show will air on TV in serialized daily form since he left the show in 1992. On weekends, Antenna will run 90-minute episodes of the Carson-hosted Tonight Show at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT with a rebroadcast at 1:30 a.m. ET/10:30 p.m. PT.

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Johnny Carson-hosted 'Tonight Show' returning to late night
Johnny Carson in his first and only talk show appearance since stepping down as host of "The Tonight Show," gets a standing ovation by Letterman and the studio audience when he makes a surprise appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman in May, 13 1994 on the CBS Television Network. This photo is provided by CBS from the Late Show with David Letterman photo archive. Photo: Tony Esparza/CBS ©1994 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved
Johnny Carson, comedian and host of the "Tonight Show," is shown in 1962 at an unknown location. (AP Photo)
December 1964: Johnny Carson, star of NBC's 'Tonight' show, one of the channel's flagship, colour programmes. (Photo by Keystone Features/Getty Images)
Comedian Steve Martin left, festooned with mock jewelry and other ornaments, entertains Tonight show host Johnny Carson during a taping of the show at NBC studios in Burbank Calif., July 19, 1980. Martin, a surprise guest on the show, playfully answered the question, "Has success spoiled Steve Martin?" by showing up in chains, rings and earrings, and throwing fistfulls of "money" at Carson, who was making his first Tonight Show appearance since he underwent surgery on his leg last week. ( AP Photo/Lennox McLendon)
American talk show host and comedian Johnny Carson (1925 - 2005) and his second wife Joanne Copeland, mid 1960s. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
December 1964: Johnny Carson, star of NBC's 'Tonight' show, one of the channel's flagship, colour programmes. (Photo by Keystone Features/Getty Images)
Brazilian soccer star Pele appears on the ?Tonight Show? with Johnny Carson (NBC-TV) on May 7, 1973 in New York. (AP Photo/Allen Green)
Host Johnny Carson is shown at the 52nd Annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles Monday, April 14, 1980. (AP Photo)
Talk show host Johnny Carson is seen dressed as an Egyptian King in this undated photo. Carson died Sunday, Jan. 23, 2005 according to his nephew. He was 79. (AP Photo)
Singer Paul McCartney gestures as he chats with Johnny Carson during the taping of the "Tonight Show," at the NBC Studios in Burbank, Calif., Oct. 24, 1984. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Johnny Carson, host of the "Tonight Show," sits in his front office under a wall covered with framed magazine covers bearing his picture in Los Angeles, Ca., Sept. 29, 1983. Carson will celebrate his 21st anniversary on the late-night talk show. (AP Photo/Doug Pizac)
Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon, left, admires a pair of sunglasses worn by talk show host Johnny Carson during taping of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson Wednesday night, Dec. 17, 1986, Burbank, Calif. McMahon was in California to have surgery, and gave Carson the sunglasses. McMahon was wearing a brace on his right shoulder to keep his shoulder immobile. (AP Photo/Mark Avery)
Talk show host Johnny Carson, with his personalized coffee cup in front of him, watches clips from earlier shows during the last taping of the "Tonight Show" in front of family and friends in Burbank, Ca., Friday, May 22, 1992. The king of late-night comedy is retiring after 30 years. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)
In this May 22, 1992 file photo, Ed McMahon, left, and host Johnny Carson are shown on "The Tonight Show" for their final broadcast in Burbank, Calif. With his debut as host of NBC's "The Tonight Show" 50 years ago this October, until he retired from the show on May 22, 1992, he was seen by more people on more occasions than anyone else in American history. "Johnny Carson: King of Late Night," a two-hour "American Masters" portrait premiers Monday at 9 p.m. EDT on PBS. (AP Photo/Douglas Pizac, file)
Johnny Carson arrives at NBC Studios for the second-to-last taping of the "Tonight Show" in Burbank, Ca., Thursday, May 21, 1992. Carson will retire tomorrow after 30 years of late-night television. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)
In this May 22, 1992 file photo, host Johnny Carson wipes his eye after watching a series of clips from earlier shows during the last taping for their final broadcast of "The Tonight Show" in Burbank, Calif. With his debut as host of NBC's "The Tonight Show" 50 years ago this October, until he retired from the show on May 22, 1992, he was seen by more people on more occasions than anyone else in American history. "Johnny Carson: King of Late Night," a two-hour "American Masters" portrait premiers Monday at 9 p.m. EDT on PBS. (AP Photo/Douglas Pizac, file)
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Antenna TV airs in 102 markets across the U.S., including all of the top 20 markets, reaching 78 percent of all television households. Carson, who died on Jan. 23, 2005, is still TV's most popular late-night talk show host according to a 2015 Quinnipiac University poll, cited by Antenna in Wednesday's announcement.

"Johnny Carson was America's night light for 30 years. The mantra of 'We'll watch the monologue and go the bed' was the norm for millions of fans," Carson Entertainment president Jeff Sotzing said in a statement. "The idea of running the show at the same time every night on Antenna TV will provide viewers with a feel for how the show was viewed originally. This is a fantastic opportunity for people to relive this wonderful piece of American history."

Tribune Media president, strategic programming and acquisitions, Sean Compton added: "During his Nebraskan boyhood, Johnny Carson dreamed of becoming a world-famous magician, and few would disagree that his three decade dominance of late-night television was anything short of magical. Along the way he pioneered the conversational presentation and generative comedic content that continues to inspire talent and entertainment programming to this very day. Thirty years later, Carson's comedy and humor are just as relevant. We are thrilled to have acquired these programs to entertain existing fans and attract future followers."

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