Premise

The venerable show that became one of TV's sturdiest (and most profitable) institutions, and a window into American culture. Like `Today,' `Tonight' was the brainchild of NBC exec Sylvester `Pat' Weaver. Originally telecast live from New York, it went to tape in the late '50s (which enabled censors to snip Jack Paar's `w.c.' joke, prompting him to walk off the show) and to L.A in 1972, so his successor, Johnny Carson---who hosted the show for 30 years---could have access to more celebrities.