Based on the non-fiction best-seller, this movie provides a behind-the-scenes look at the conflict over who would succeed Johnny Carson (Rich Little) as host of The Tonight Show; Jay Leno (Daniel Roebuck) or David Letterman (John Michael Higgins). Hosting The Tonight Show has been Letterman's lifelong dream, and he is willing to do whatever it takes to get what he wants. He soon finds himself working with ultra-powerful Hollywood agent Mike Ovitz and receiving huge offers from competing networks. Meanwhile, NBC has more trouble with the Leno Tonight Show than expected, thanks to Leno's manager Helen Kushnick (Kathy Bates). Kushnick's foul-mouthed manner and increasingly petty behaviour infuriates the higher-ups at NBC - so much so that some suggest they give the show to Letterman after all. A series of intense negotiations follows, under the shadow of ludicrously frenzied media attention.