Originally Posted by rrainwater
A lot of it could be due to the lighting. It seems they didn't change the lighting that much compared to before.
Undoubtedly, lighting is hugely important. For example, this year's Oscars (which I felt were poorly lit) looked awful compared to last year's, and both were in 720p HD on the same ABC. So yes, lighting can make a gigantic difference.
But, dare I say it, might the fact that this is the one late night studio/talk show that's in 720p also be relevant?
The other "live" shows (Leno, Conan, Fallon, Letterman, SNL) are all 1080i. They all look tremendous (well, maybe not Fallon so much yet), and Conan was a reasonably dark setting. SNL is just brilliant... lighting, and 1080i.
In my opinion, Leno and SNL are the most stunning: combination of brilliant lighting and 1080i.
I gave Kimmel a few minutes the other night, and was not impressed with the picture quality. Absolutely they need to light up the place better and change the whole color scheme for HD.