Friday, January 08, 2010

My Feathers Are Ruffled by the Peacock

I don't watch (or even care about) Jay Leno or Conan O'Brien, but news that they're going to give Leno his time slot back because his bullshit 10 p.m. show tanked and the affiliates are pissed just makes me like him less. (Oh, did I mention that I don't really like him because he's never said anything funny despite being a comedian?) NBC should be ashamed of itself. It was Leno who ANNOUNCED that he would retire in 2009 to spend more time with his wife, and it was NBC that ANNOUNCED that O'Brien would replace him. So how do they repay Conan, who left a good gig in New York? By putting the popular person he replaced -- who suddenly felt sorry for himself and didn't want to retire -- on earlier in the night, immediately stealing a sizable percentage of Conan's potential audience he might have won over if he'd really "taken over" "The Tonight Show." That's so fucked up. It would be like saying "Friends" is going off the air and announcing what show replaced it on the schedule, but then putting a "new" show with the cast of "Friends" playing the same characters on before it and then wondering why the old "Friends" time slot isn't performing as well. If this is business as usual over at 30 Rock, then NBC deserves to be in last place.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your lack of understanding of what is really going on behind the Jay Leno melodrama is pretty astonishing. Apparently you are not as plugged-in as you often lead people to think you are.

Unknown said...

So well said. I couldn't agree more.

maxx40 said...

NBC is run by idiots apparently. Canceling Southland and now this? Geesh.

Anonymous said...

Kenneth,

You are so right. Jay Leno is the least funny person on late night. If I see one more segment of his person on the street interviews showing how stupid Americans are, I will scream. We know that already. Do something about it Jay. And where was ANY press for Conan? I feel like they reined in any of the routines that made him more irreverant than Leno...

Anonymous said...

I agree. I just hope Jimmy Fallon doesn't lose his slot, because he has been a big surprise success, at least to me. He's the only one I bother watching now.

Ken cady said...

Can't agree on this one,Ken. I find Leno to be very funny. The networks have to go with what brings in the ratings, and Conan is best of at a later slot.

Danny in WeHo said...

"Apparently you are not as plugged-in as you often lead people to think you are." I feel misled by you now, Kenneth. I want my readership back, and the coffee talks we've shared. All this time I thought you were plugged-in and understood that Jay Leno is the most unfunny thing since AIDS (wait there's this one AIDS joke...)(AIDS is funnier than Jay Leno). I thought you understood that NBC should just wash their hands of this mess and let Jay go...
I don't think you need to have an understanding of what's going on behind this drama to voice your opinion about how annoyed you are by the results of the drama.
So there! Put that in your understanding and smoke it, Anonymous!

Anonymous said...

Dude, NBC forced Leno out, then his ratings went up and they struggled to get him back. This is not his doing at all - he never wanted to retire. I agree he's spectacularly unfunny and God knows he sucks when it comes to interviewing, and I'm so glad he's leaving prime time. Back to scripted TV!

Jed said...

I'm sorry but Anonymous is correct. NBC forced Jay off the Tonight Show. They made this mess and now are trying to clean it up. Jay beat Letterman consistently. Now Letterman is getting the highest ratings he's ever had. Conan's Tonight Show ratings have dropped 52% since the switch.

I agree that Jay isn't the least bit funny, but obviously some Americans must have thought so because his ratings were great.

Tony (LT) said...

You can trace this mess back to the early 90's when NBC passed over Letterman when Johnny Carson "retired" even though Letterman was Carson's choice. Leno got the job because Letterman wasn't warm and fuzzy enough (read: too clever and biting) which is why Letterman struggled at 11:35 against Leno. Conan's humor is even more quirky than Letterman. Middle America just doesn't know what to make of him, so he's going down in flames. It seems like if your material aims any higher than the lowest common denominator, you best not appear on TV before midnight. Look at Jimmy Fallon. In some ways the quirkiest of all, but doing pretty well at 12:35. he's also got more charm than "goofy" guys like Letterman and Conan. And he works it to his advantage.
That said, it is wrong to let Leno have a "take-back." It displays a lack of class on NBC's part, as well as a lack of confidence in Conan, who really hasn't been given much time to find his audience.
But, I realize it is a business and millions of dollars are at stake. So, each should be looked at individually. If both Leno and Conan are under-performing, then perhaps both shows need re-working/cancellation. You don't sacrifice Conan to save Leno.
If it comes to that, I hope Conan takes NBC for everything he can.