ABC's first effort at late-night TV was hosted by Les Crane, which pioneered the controversial tabloid talk show format that would not become popular until two decades later. Shorter still was The Las Vegas Show, a Las Vegas-based late-night show hosted by Bill Dana that was the only offering of the United Network that ever made it to air (because that network only had a handful of affiliates, it also syndicated to CBS, ABC and independent stations); it, along with the network, only lasted five weeks in summer 1967.
Steve Allen himself returned to late-night in syndication twice in this time frame, first with a show that ran from 1962 to 1964 and then with a series that ran from 1968 to 1971.
He was noted for his conversational style, relatively highbrow interview guests, feuds with other media personalities (his feuds with print journalists Ed Sullivan and Walter Winchell marked a power shift from print to television; Winchell's career never recovered from the damage), and mercurial personality; Paar famously quit the show in 1960 in a dispute over a censored joke but was allowed to come back a month later.
Early television variety shows included The Ed Sullivan Show (originally known as Toast of the Town), which aired on CBS Sunday nights from 1948 to 1971 and was hosted by Ed Sullivan, and Texaco Star Theater with Milton Berle, which aired on NBC from 1948 to 1956.The show originated from NBC Studios in New York City but, as part of Carson's shifting the show toward a more entertainment-oriented program, moved to Burbank, California in 1972.NBC's two other rivals during the early television era, CBS and ABC, did not attempt any major forays into late-night television until the 1960s.The success of the show led Allen to get another show, entitled The Steve Allen Show, which would compete with The Ed Sullivan Show on Sunday nights.Meanwhile, hosting duties of The Tonight Show were split between Allen and Ernie Kovacs; Kovacs had defected to NBC from his own late-night show on the then-crumbling Du Mont Television Network.