Late Night TV: When will The Late Show, Tonight Show and more return?

The Tonight Show (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
The Tonight Show (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images) /

Here’s everything you need to know about your favorite late night shows returning to television.

The novel coronavirus pandemic has completely altered life around the world. And while everyone is eager to get back to the way things were, the reality is that creative solutions are necessary to achieve some semblance of normalcy. In the world of late night television, those efforts are in motion.

It goes without saying that the priority is on public health and keeping people as safe as possible. A major part of that is social distancing, self-isolating, and quarantining. It also means that people are looking for entertainment and an escape to keep up morale.

Late night television programs have been trying to address that demand over the past month. Hosts have produced condensed versions of shows from home posted to YouTube or used viral videos and Twitter to keep audiences laughing.

Now many of those shows are ready to take the next step and get back on television. Here’s everything you need to know about when and how your favorite late night show plans to return.

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Anyone watching Stephen Colbert over the past month has seen the evolution of late night shows. It started with a monologue delivered to an empty Late Show studio and then transitioned into Colbert recording himself from his bathtub and backyard.

After taking a scheduled break from production, The Late Show is ready to get back to work. CBS announced that Colbert and his staff will continue to work remotely but new episodes will air beginning Monday, March 30. Tune in at the show’s regular 11:35 PM ET timeslot to hear Colbert react to the latest from Washington and more.

The Late Late Show with James Corden

The Late Late Show has been relatively quiet compared to other shows. Host James Corden has used his Twitter account to spread positivity and encouragement during this difficult period. The comedian also recently reflected on his five year Late Late Show anniversary.

Corden and his staff don’t have plans to air any at-home editions of the show like their Late Show lead-in. But they still have something very special planned with HomeFest, a televised concert event featuring BTS, Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa, and more.

Some of the biggest names in music, magician David Blaine, comedian Will Ferrell and more are all set to appear from their homes around the world. Watch James Corden’s HomeFest air on CBS on Monday, March 30 at 10:00 PM ET. The rest of the week will be reruns featuring guests like Dr. Phil, Green Day, and Meghan Trainor.

Jimmy Kimmel Live!

It didn’t take Jimmy Kimmel long to start broadcasting from his home. ABC’s late night host released “minilogues” to the show’s YouTube channel covering everything from President Donald Trump’s COVID-19 response to viral videos.

Kimmel also started conducting celebrity interviews, checking in with stars like Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Courteney Cox, and Bill Burr. He also connected with former Vice President Joe Biden to remind everyone we are still in the middle of a presidential campaign.

The at-home versions of Jimmy Kimmel Live! were enough to convince ABC to start putting them on television. Starting Monday, March 30 the show returns to its normal 11:35 PM ET timeslot. It will be interesting to see if Kimmel maintains the same laidback, casual approach while back on ABC or if he’ll trade in the iPad and t-shirt for a professional camera and suit.

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Nobody in late night has embraced the work-from-home movement quite like Jimmy Fallon. The Tonight Show host has incorporated his family into daily productions that first aired on YouTube and then NBC.

His two daughters have served as his graphics department and monologue audience, despite not being too impressed with the punchlines. Fallon’s wife has been on camera duty while also answering some fan questions.

The plan seems to be that Fallon will continue to record at-home editions of The Tonight Show that air on NBC followed by “best of” segments. Fallon has incorporated guest interviews in his videos and that should continue starting March 30. And like Jimmy Kimmel, Fallon has been spotlighting charities with each show that audiences are encouraged to support.

Late Night with Seth Meyers

There was a clear void left when Late Night with Seth Meyers went quiet. The show is a voice of reason for millions of fans when things get hectic, frustrating, or absurd.

The show has slowly but surely ramped up the production of content in the past week. Seth Meyers has delivered monologues along with popular segments like “A Closer Look” and “Jokes Seth Can’t Tell” from his home.

Fans should expect more of the same next week. NBC will air repeat episodes of Late Night at its normal 12:35 AM ET timeslot. You can watch new material from Meyers and his writers on the show’s YouTube channel.


It’s hard to argue that anyone in late night puts out more content than Conan O’Brien. Between Conan, the ever-expanding podcast network, scripted web series, and Instagram shows, Team Coco delivers again and again and again.

So it was not surprising to see that O’Brien and company did not slow down during this time of social distancing. Previously recorded episodes of “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend” have been released and O’Brien has also been putting out some of the funniest videos around from home.

Now he is ready to get back on TBSConan will air new episodes, filmed at O’Brien’s home, starting Monday, March 30 at 11:00 PM ET.

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee

TBS’s other late night show is also back on the air. Full Frontal with Samantha Bee returned to television on March 25. Bee delivered her show from the woods in what was one of the more unique settings in late night television history.

Fans can expect that trend to continue. Full Frontal will continue to air Wednesdays at 10:30 PM ET. The show’s Twitter account and YouTube channel are also excellent resources for audiences to get even more content from Samantha Bee and her team.

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah has been doing his best to stay sane and stay connected with viewers from his home. In addition to releasing videos on how to survive #QuarantineLifethe Daily Show host has been delivering monologues, checking in with correspondents, and interviewing important figures like Dr. Anthony Fauci.

At-home editions of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah have been airing on Comedy Central at its normal time. Fans can tune in nightly at 11:00 PM ET to see what is becoming an important show not just in late night but anywhere on television.

Real Time with Bill Maher & Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

HBO has yet to announce a concrete plan for when its late night programs, Real Time with Bill Maher and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, will return. Real Time was last seen on March 13 while Last Week Tonight signed off after a March 15 show on COVID-19.

Oliver stated that he had no idea when his show would be back and that seems to still be the case. However, a new episode was released on March 29. Similarly, Maher has not mentioned when fans could see a new episode of Real Time. He remains active on Twitter, offering his occasional opinion on the current state of affairs.

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How have you been keeping up with late night television while social distancing? Who have you been watching from home or who are you looking forward to seeing back on television? Let us know in the comments and be sure to keep checking Last Night On for more news, updates, and highlights. For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website or the website for your state’s Department of Health.