Picks and Pans Review: The Late Shift

updated 02/19/1996 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/19/1996 AT 01:00 AM EST

HBO (Sat, Feb. 24, 8 p.m. ET)

A

The Letterman-Leno war is recounted, blow by blow, meeting by meeting, in this crisp, clever two-hour movie. As tormented old Dave, John Michael Higgins gives a shrewd performance that has the self-conscious zest of good parody. Daniel Roebuck makes an earnest Jay, although that latex jaw could serve as the prow of a cruise ship. Rich Little shows up for a few brief but decisive scenes as Johnny. And Kathy Bates as Helen Kushnick, Leno's vituperative former agent, walks off with the show. She's the only screamer in a roomful of talkers.

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