Anyone who's paying attention knows that the Leno show at 10PM (9 here) has been a disappointment. The buzz now is that Leno is headed back to late night in the 11:30 slot, right back where he used to be. NBC denies it, but it doesn't seem like they'd admit it even if it were true.
If the rumors turn out to be true, I would think it would royally piss off Conan O'Brien. After all, he was promised the slot. Might make him think strongly about jumping to another network. Maybe ABC puts him in front of Kimmel and finally ditches "Nightline"? Comedy Central maybe? I would think he'd go somewhere else, but where isn't clear to me.
I just had a crazy idea that just might keep everyone happy. Why not revive the basic idea behind the old Carson era permanent guest host with a twist. Have Leno host Mon/Wed/Fri and Conan Tue/Thu one week, then flip it around the following week. When one wants a week of vacation, the other takes the full week. They could have new episodes every weeknight through the entire year. No reruns!
I read an article that Conan was considering FOX... whether that is true or not is up in the air. It looks like it is happening though, Leno is moving back to 11:30. No word on what is happening with Conan, but I'd be pissed if I was him too. NBC has become the fail network.
This is a lose-lose-lose situation. NBC is going to end up with a couple of black eyes no matter what happens. Unfortunately for them, the outcome was almost inevitable. They had to promise Conan "Tonight" to keep him on board, but Jay at least as of 6 months ago was very popular. That's why they came up with this cockamamie plan for 10PM. That turned out to be a failure, though I don't think it was Jay's fault. But Conan ends up being beaten up the worst. He's been working toward this for 15 years. He paid his dues. He was promised and got the coveted Tonight Show. Now the rug gets pulled out from under him. It's not fair. As he correctly pointed out, Jimmy Fallon gets screwed too even though he has nothing directly to do with any of this. "Late Night" ending past 2 in the morning? Does that push Carson Daly back to signing off at 2:30 when the only competition are infomercials and a test pattern? Might as well just drop that show altogether.
I still think my alternating hosts idea is the best way to salvage the sinking Titanic that is NBC late night. It's sure better than any of the other possibilities that are on the table. Meanwhile I think I saw Dave Letterman shopping for sympathy cards to send to Conan.
I heard somewhere that Conan could have a deal from Fox if he jumps ship from NBC. If I were him I would be furious. Its like in radio, if I was promoted to a DJ for six months, then demoted, I'd be mad.
Nobody else has made an offer yet. Fox executives has been thinking about the idea, but Fox stations already have contracts in place for other programming and a network offering would mean less commercial inventory -> lower profits.
"Hosting 'The Tonight Show' has been the fulfillment of a lifelong dream for me - and I just want to say to the kids out there watching: You can do anything you want in life. Unless Jay Leno wants to do it too."
"According to a new TV Guide poll, 83 percent of voters want me to stay at 11:35. When he heard this poll number, President Obama asked, 'How can I get NBC to screw me over?' "
"Last night, the new season of 'American Idol' started on the FOX Network and it was watched by an audience of 30 million people. When they heard that, NBC executives said 'That's not true, there's no such thing as an audience of 30 million people."
Meanwhile the latest scuttlebutt is that there will be no more Conan on Tonight after Jan 22. There was a break scheduled starting the 25th anyway, so it could be a strategic move.
This is the best soap opera that's been on for a while. Hey NBC. You need help in daytime, right?
One of the funny things is regardless of how good or bad the publicity for NBC is, it is still publicity. I'm betting the ratings are going up due to this disaster because people are wanting to see what both Leno and Conan have to say about it.
To tell you the truth though, I'm thinking less and less of both these days. NBC has put a sour taste in my mind as far as their late night programming.