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TV Column: Sandy washes out late-night shows

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Late-night TV shows succumbed to Hurricane Sandy on Monday, joining scores of prime-time series that shut down shooting on the East Coast because, duh, it’s TV, not the race to cure cancer.

Comedy Central announced Monday afternoon it had pulled the plug on its two faux newscasts, “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report.”

Meanwhile, CBS’s David Letterman sent his audience home, as did NBC’s Jimmy Fallon. Fallon tweeted that the decision was made “just to be safe” — a couple of hours after he tweeted an offer to buy Ben & Jerry’s ice cream for anyone who’d ignore urgent warnings of safety and government officials to attend his show taping.

“Sandy be damned, PAUL BANKS plays ‘Young Again’ on Letterman tonight come hell AND high water. Hope everyone has electricity to watch!” Matador Records publicist Nils Bernstein tweeted ecstatically Monday afternoon about his label’s artist. Joining Banks on the ship of fools: Denzel Washington.

Letterman’s Tuesday show also will be taped without an audience, CBS told the TV Column.

ABC late-night host Jimmy Kimmel’s first night of a planned November sweep week at the Brooklyn Academy of Music was also declared a washout.

“Though it pains us to do it, JKLfrom #Brooklyn tonight is cancelled. I’m disappointed too, but we want you to be safe,” Jimmy Kimmel tweeted early Monday afternoon.

Ironically, Kimmel’s show is based in Hollywood, where it was 81 degrees and sunny, with a light breeze and no chance of rain, according to the Weather Channel.

But Kimmel and his crew had traveled to the East Coast for the first time in nearly 10 seasons on the air to do a week of shows from Brooklyn, because it’s his hometown and it’s the November sweep.

“I braved the weather to be here. And I will not be stopped,” Kimmel told Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan on their ABC daytime talker just a couple of hours before the plug was pulled.

Kimmel said his show was “not like these Broadway shows where they . . . close down! What’s going to happen to midtown? Nothing!” Kimmel scoffed.

The trip had been in the works since May; last time “JKL” went on the road, to the GEM Theater in Detroit, it recorded one of its highest-rated weeks ever. And, of course, the November sweep is the last such ratings derby before Kimmel’s show takes over the 11:35 p.m. time slot in January, where he’ll swim with big boys Letterman and Jay Leno.

Had Kimmel stayed home, of course, he’d have aired Monday night, as will Leno, who does his NBC show from Burbank, and Craig Ferguson, whose CBS late-night show comes to you from Hollywood.

Hours before the New York-based late-night shows threw in the towel, a gaggle of TV series shot on the East Coast decided a day or two’s shooting wasn’t worth potential loss of life. Among the shows impacted: ABC’s “666 Park Avenue,” CBS’s “Person of Interest,” “The Good Wife,” “Blue Bloods” and “Elementary”; Fox’s new Kevin Bacon serial killer thriller “The Following”; NBC series “30 Rock,” “Law & Order: SVU” and “Smash”; CW’s “Gossip Girl” and “The Carrie Diaries”; and Showtime’s “Nurse Jackie” and “The Big,” trade Web site Deadline reported.

Also canceled, but not because of Sandy and not temporarily, is Anderson Cooper’s struggling syndicated talk show.

“While we made significant changes to the format, set and produced it live in its second season, the series will not be coming back for a third season in a marketplace that has become increasingly difficult to break through,” Warner Bros. said Monday in a statement, adding, “We will continue to deliver top-quality shows throughout next summer.”

On Friday, Warner Bros. started informing TV stations that carried the show that the company would not seek renewal for a third season, a source with knowledge of the situation told the TV Column.

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