The fall season starts in earnest this week in the U.S. This means that late night programs will focus some on promoting new television programs. While this means we get to see some old familiar faces, it also means that there will be a higher percentage of actors than normal on the screens for the next couple of weeks.
The night to watch this week is Tuesday, as Stephen Colbert will host Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz on his Late Show. Moniz was heavily involved in the negotiations with Iran, so that will certainly factor into the conversation. What won’t be clear until tomorrow night is how much Colbert’s first guest, Donald Trump, will influence the conversation with Moniz. I’d be surprised if something notable failed to materialize.
This week’s old familiar face is Kunal Nayyar, who plays a scientist on The Big Bang Theory. He’s scheduled to appear on The Talk Tuesday (along with the show’s technology correspondent, Chi-Lan Lieu). He’ll also be on The Late Late Show with James Corden on Wednesday.
As part of the promotional campaign for the film The Martian, opening October 2 in the U.S., the actors are making the talk show rounds. Donald Glover will be on Conan Tuesday night. He plays one of the earthbound scientists helping rescue the title character.
There were some science and technology jokes of note that appeared in last week’s programs. Conan O’Brien mentioned the effort to revive another 30,000 year-old virus in his September 15 monologue. On the September 16 edition of the Late Show, Stephen Colbert and Carol Burnett had an argument over who owned the intellectual property to asking audience questions during a variety show.
Next week marks the final shift in the long-term reshuffling of late night television in the U.S. Trevor Noah’s edition of The Daily Show will premiere on Monday, September 28.