Seniors Kevin Spellman, executive producer and production manager of the new Student Television show, and Miles Bonsignore, head writer and director, initially approached Putnam with the idea to make a late night television show two years ago.
“Jay has this enormous wealth of talent, and we thought he was the perfect leading man for this. We wanted to do a show that ran around with Jay’s unique and excellent style of humor,” Bonsignore said.
Because they did not initially have the means to put together a late night show, they put this idea on the back burner until this summer, when Putnam interned in New York for “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and Bonsignore interned at “Late Night with Seth Meyers.”
“That ignited our passion for a show we had wanted to do for a while,” Bonsignore said.
Since November, the three have built a large team to plan, write and advertise the show.
“It’s been a great opportunity working as a team,” said Putnam, a senior majoring in communication studies. “We are on a college campus and we don’t need to hide that we are college kids making a show, but we want to make it as professional as possible.”
Putnam says he has already received a lot of positive responses. The first promotional video was posted Jan. 7 and has already received almost 1,000 views.
The show will feature one musical guest and two interview guests each show. Senior Zack Newbauer, co-producer, said he has enjoyed heading the search for guests on the show.
Putnam and Bonsignore described the show as relaxed, youthful and slightly sarcastic. It will have its own unique style targeted for college students.
“We take what we like from each late night program,” Spellman said. “We are holding our unique product based off what we think other people will like and are putting our own spin on it.”
The show premieres on Feb. 2 at 8 p.m. on UNC STV and will also be available for viewing on the show’s website. The first episode will be taped with a live audience on Jan. 30 at 8 p.m. The tickets for this event have already sold out.
Putnam is excited that tickets have sold so quickly and looks forward to the taping.
“It will be nice to be in a comfortable environment and talk and hang out with people and make people laugh,” he said. “We get to make something that we hope is really great for the campus that they really love.”
Spellman is especially enthusiastic about college students leading a show.
“It’s a great experiment to see what works and what doesn’t work because this is a time where we could still fail because we are still in college. We have this opportunity that we are not going to have for probably years to come — for us to be directing, producing and starring in a late night television talk show.”