Say what you will about Jay Leno and the inanity of NBC's decision to hand him the entirety of the 10PM time slot, but the guy knows a good booking when he sees one. Jay-Z? Sure, it being the morning after the MTV Music Awards, Jay-Z is a good get, but the fact that Kanye West is joining him is prime trainwreck material, given his penchant for post-awards show blow-ups. [And this year he managed to even out Kanye himself, by self-destructing during the broadcast.] Rihanna even joins in the fun, giving Leno a three-for-one deal, which is good considering the show doesn't plan on booking many music acts.
But what of Jay-Z's decision to appear on Leno? I've got this theory when HOVA was planning out the marketing of his latest album, The Blueprint 3, he stumbled across the website Stuff White People Like. In the past couple weeks, Jigga man has sat down with Bill Maher on Real Time with Bill Maher, danced with Beyonce at a Grizzly Bear concert and been party to a (great) commercial for Rhapsody. At this rate, we might expect him to show up early Monday night to play some hacky sack with a plate of hummus in hand.
Also returning to TV this week is Carson Daly, whose Last Call With... program took the whole summer off. It was sad enough that they took away Daly's studio, forcing the talk show to operate nomadically from the road for the past year. Last Call welcomes Franz Ferdinand (Monday), Metric (Tuesday) and Pete Yorn* (Wednesday) for its return, but will it be enough to keep folks watching after NBC's three hours of talk shows prior?
*Let's start a rumor now that ex-girlfriend and album partner Scarlett Johansson will join him.
Elsewhere, French breakthrough act Phoenix brave The Tonight Show stage on Tuesday, while later that night rapper Ghostface brings his distinct skillz to Fallon, no doubt getting some help from The Roots. Then on Wednesday, The Flaming Lips sprinkle their magic dust on The Colbert Report, growing the host's hair back to its non-military issue length.
Playlist: Picks for the week
Monday, September 14
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Maxwell (REPEAT)
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Cage the Elephant (REPEAT)
CBS: Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson: Juliette Lewis (REPEAT)
FUEL: Check 1, 2: Santigold
NBC: The Jay Leno Show: Jay-Z w/ Rihanna & Kanye West
NBC: The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien: Dave Matthews Band
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Rufus Wainwright
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Franz Ferdinand
Tuesday, September 15
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Kelly Clarkson
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Care Bears on Fire (REPEAT)
FUEL: The Daily Habit: Dungen
NBC: The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien: Phoenix
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Ghostface
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Metric
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Pink
COMEDY CENTRAL: The Colbert Report: Flaming Lips
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: John Fogerty (REPEAT)
NBC: The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien: Yeah Yeah Yeahs
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Pete Yorn
SUNDANCE: Spectacle: Elvis Costello With...: Elvis Costello, Diana Krall (REPEAT)
Thursday, September 17
FUEL: The Daily Habit: Dredg
NBC: The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien: Louis CK
SYNDICATION: The Ellen Degeneres Show: Maxwell
Friday, September 18
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Shakira
NBC: The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien: Nelly Furtado
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Megadeath
Saturday, September 19
NBC: Saturday Night Live: Green Day (REPEAT)