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  Topic Review (Newest First)
2010-01-29 09:47 PM
jumpy27 Just like NBC did with Conan 5 years ago when Jay agreed to "retire". As we learned from the Oprah interview, Jay was basically told his job at NBC was over in 5 years because NBC wanted to keep Conan on board by offering him the Tonight Show. Leno is not the bad guy here--NBC is. They should have let Conan go 5 years ago. In hindsight NBC actually did a very smart thing by keeping the 2 #1 late night shows going for another 5 years. $45 million is a small price to pay for the extra 5 years of revenue that Conan's show brought in.
2010-01-29 09:15 PM
wgauci I recorded and watched the whole thing last night. It was pretty well an Ophah puff piece. She asked a few decent questions but really didn't call him out on his answers.

The one that really got me was his his response to her question about the fact that NBC was potentially putting thousands of people out of work by giving him 5 hours of prime time. To sit there and claim he never thought about it until he was actually on air the first time was pretty for fetched considering it was one of the main controversies brought up when NBC announced the show. They flat out said that producing 5 of his shows with the lower ratings, was still going to be cheaper than 5 quality shows. He was lying through his teeth there, why else was it so hard for him to get decent guests?

Also, not to beat a dead horse here, but he stated that they took him off the Tonight show 7 months early and wouldn't release his contract. To me, if he was really interested in moving on to another network or job, he was not obligated to sign on for a two year stint in a new show that he claims he knew wasn't going to work anyway. He could have went home and relaxed for half a year and shopped around for a new gig. I would be willing to bet, that NBC took him off early to see how Conan did, while keeping Leno in their back pockets.
2010-01-28 10:38 PM
smootherator one interesting comment he made to Oprah was about how he knows who his audience is. His jokes are made to appeal to everyone... the type of comedy that lacks an edge and aims not to offend anyone. That is a bit why people liked Conan...he had that edge...but was forced to tone it down at 11:30. Conan will do great at fox...they seem to be more open to allowing edgy comedy.

In the end both Comedians will find their niche and compete quite well against one another.
2010-01-28 10:32 PM
ScaryBob
Quote:
Has Fallon improved since his launch? I gave up after a couple of weeks
I gave up after one week. That show was going down in flames fast and his current ratings are terrible.

Did anyone catch Leno on Oprah today? It was a very good interview and quite lengthy as interviews go. There was not a lot of new material covered but it did provide some insights.

Leno's numbers were no lower than NBC expected. They were hoping he would get higher numbers but that's a different story. Leno himself considers his show to be a failure due to the ratings. Even Leno's fans were disappointed by the show, which was typically not as good as his Tonight Show material. What killed The Jay Leno Show was the NBC affiliate revolt. NBC had no choice but to cancel. Then they had to contend with losing Leno or Conan. Both were under contract. Leno offered to leave but NBC would not let him. They got rid of Conan instead. Considering that Conan's ratings were half that of Leno's, that choice was a no brainer. This is show business folks. Ratings rule the airwaves and any performer would be stupid to turn down a good gig. Leno's no fool in that respect. I'm sure he has second thoughts on what went down and how it affected Conan. (He admits as much.) The man's not heartless and Conan is a friend.
2010-01-28 10:18 PM
Francois Caron
Quote:
Originally Posted by jumpy27 View Post
For those that are interested, Leno is on Oprah today to tell his side of the story.
I would have preferred Leno and Conan on Jerry Springer!

Jerrrry! Jerrrry!
2010-01-28 10:00 PM
liquidthunder shiningblade,

Leno was drawing an average of 5 million viewers in primetime. By primetime standards, it is considered poor ratings ... but by late night standards, those ratings would make him #1. And he did draw those numbers in late night when he was host of the Tonight Show, which is why he was #1 for many years. So with all due respect, your comment really makes no sense whatsoever and doesn't address at all what I asked in my previous post.
2010-01-28 05:45 PM
jumpy27 Only time will tell, but I think that Leno's ratings will return to their former levels in a relatively short time period. I still prefer Leno over Letterman any day.

For those that are interested, Leno is on Oprah today to tell his side of the story.
2010-01-28 07:47 AM
Shiningblade
Quote:
What elements will he keep from his failed primetime show and what will he bring back from his old Tonight Show stint?
One element that he will keep from the failed primetime show for a while is the poor ratings. Regardless of his "guilt" in how things turned out, it will take him and NBC a bit of time to prove their worth to the audience.

Cheers
2010-01-24 08:04 PM
liquidthunder
Quote:
Originally Posted by neild
1) They did have a transition plan, however it didn't really work out.
2) But the plan - that Jay Leno agreed to and endorsed - was that he would have retired by now. Back in 2004-5 when they were setting this up, 2010 seemed like ages away and that wasn't a radical expectation.
3) Fast forward to 2009 and turns out Leno wasn't so keen on retiring, and Conan didn't quite establish himself as the mainstream choice, and Letterman was consistently holding down #1, having emerged from health and scandal to be as strong as ever.
4) Do you mean #1 within NBC? Because Leno isn't #1 in late night.
5) Actually it's quite clear they did consider the impact extensively and their strategy was openly discussed in public. The impact they intended was to provide a strong lead-in for Conan and replace costly drama with lower cost talk show in that slot. It was hardly a casual decision it was probably their most deeply considered decision of the year. It just didn't work out as hoped.
6) I'm not sure I agree. Conan's style is so different. I don't think a tiny amount of extra exposure would suddenly make mainstream viewers crave something totally different than what they already know they want. Besides, there's big gaps between seasons. They could have employed strategies like heavily seeding the tonight show with embedded promotion for Conan's later show on a daily basis. I don't mean just standard ad break promos, but making Conan a part of their actual program. Have Jay interview Conan mid-show about what to expect on the program later. Have him answer with some teasers that might carry some viewers across the break.
7) Don't discount Conan's inability to draw an audience... that's the key issue. If he had viewers, we wouldn't be talking about any of this.
8) If you mean dismantling a schedule that's tanking then yes. Paying out $45 million for nothing isn't good business though, even with the spinning that's going on.
I hope you don't mind that I quoted the relevant passages this way to avoid having excessive numbers of quote boxes.

1) I didn't say they didn't have a transition plan in place, but I doubted how well it was thought out. I don't call announcing it 5 years in advance, and then doing nothing about it, until a year before it goes down, a good strategy. They had ample time to make this a successful transition and position Conan well for the future. Instead it was like: Friday - It's Leno, Monday - Oh look, now it's Conan.
2) Actually if you go back and watch Leno's announcement in 2004, he says he's leaving the Tonight Show, but isn't leaving showbiz. I think everyone assumed leaving the Tonight Show meant he was retiring from showbiz permanently, which wasn't the case nor did he claim it was going to be.
3) Letterman's scandal happened after Conan took over the Tonight Show, as did Letterman becoming #1 in late night. It happened after the fact, so that portion of your point is moot.
4) No, up until May 2009 when Leno left the Tonight Show, he was #1 in late night TV for much of his 17 year run (i.e. after the Hugh Grant interview). I'm curious to know who you thought was #1 in late night for the last decade or so, because it wasn't Letterman if that's what you were thinking.
5) Wrong, the strategy that they openly discussed was the fact that producing a comedy show at 10pm would save them millions over producing dramas and provide a strong lead-in to the late local news. They weren't trumpeting this programming decision as having anything to do with helping Conan.
6) This seems like a contradiction to me. You're saying that a tiny amount of extra exposure by guest hosting wouldn't change viewing habits, but that including a short promo for Conan in Jay's show would? Isn't that the very definition of a really tiny amount of extra exposure? I don't see how that would position Conan any better.
7) I never have. I've made that abundantly clear multiple times in this thread that Conan wasn't doing well at 11:30. I'm starting to think you haven't read what I've written at all ... otherwise, you know that I've been saying that Conan's numbers @ 11:30 were on par with numbers in his old timeslot, and well below those of Leno and Letterman -- the "kings" of late night TV.
8) They aren't paying out $45 million for nothing. How would it have been better business to force Conan to sit out the entire remainder of his contract and do nothing, or break contract and get sued? NBC would only be further dragging themselves through the mud in the media, and further alienate viewers and people in the industry -- that doesn't sound like a winning strategy for their network. Being total jerks even moreso isn't going to win them anything other than more ridicule.

Anyways, I've had enough of dissecting this thing to bits ... so how about we move on to what do people expect the "NEW" Tonight Show with Jay Leno will be like? What elements will he keep from his failed primetime show and what will he bring back from his old Tonight Show stint?
2010-01-24 06:56 PM
wgauci Here's how I see it. NBC didn't want to lose Conan back when it looked like his star was rising. So obviously they screwed up by trying to plan so far ahead. Most people when they find something they're comfortable with are creatures of habit. If you look at the numbers, Leno's move eventually produced pretty well the same numbers he had in his later time slot, which to me tells me that the people who liked him moved ahead in time to watch what they were used to watching. The same goes for Conan from what I can tell of his numbers.

Leno's ratings were not that great when he first took over the tonight show from Carson. Ask yourselves this. What would have happened to Leno's numbers if when he took over the Tonight show, he had to compete with Carson on before him? I believe the same thing would have happened. The people who wanted their fix of Carson would have tuned in earlier and then tuned out Leno later as they already got what they're looking for.

If things had gone as planned, Leno would have moved off into the sunset and after an adjustment period, Conan's ratings would have slowly increased. Conan would probably mellowed a little bit, instead, I think he had to edge it up a bit because he already had Leno feeding everyone pablum at 10. Also he would have started getting the guests that Leno was scooping up and he wouldn't be competing with someone on his own network.

For what it's worth, I think Leno was a douche for the way he handled things. If he didn't want to retire, he shouldn't have gone along with the whole plan 5 years ago when it was conceived. Instead, he came out and acted like everything was fine and let Conan believe he was pulling for him and wanted to hand off the reins. This whole act of being forced into things is bunk. His contract was up and he was free to move on to any network or job he wanted to. Instead he signed onto another contract, that by his own words he thought was a bad idea and wouldn't work, and I believe he knew it would undermine Conan's show.

His nice guy every man image fades when you consider that he himself admits he doesn't need the money and took a job that as a result, ended up taking away 5 hours of prime time work to other actors and industry workers to feed his own ego and the networks pocket books, who they themselves acknowledged didn't care that their ratings dropped because it was cheaper to produce the bunk Leno was producing instead of 5 hours of actual entertaining viewing.
2010-01-24 06:47 PM
rsambuca
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neild View Post
...Do you mean #1 within NBC? Because Leno isn't #1 in late night.
Where are you getting your stats from? Everything I have ever read indicated that Leno took 18 months to catch on, but was clearly #1 in the ratings ever since vs. Letterman.
2010-01-24 06:19 PM
Francois Caron Has Fallon improved since his launch? I gave up after a couple of weeks.

Started to watch some of the other talk shows. Letterman was definitely on the ball with the whole talk show debacle, but the rest was pretty ordinary as usual. Jimmy Kimmel is interesting in his deadpan style delivery. Craig Ferguson is hilarious in his opening monologues, but he does need to refine his interviewing style.

Carson who? Dolly? Doily? Dilly Dally?
2010-01-24 04:33 PM
Neild
Quote:
Originally Posted by liquidthunder
Yeah, I understand that it wasn't unnecessary tinkering going on; NBC wanted to keep Conan in the fold, so offering the Tonight Show was a way to do that. However, it seems like they didn't have a proper plan in place for the transition, in spite of setting a date five years in advance, which really screwed Conan over.
They did have a transition plan, however it didn't really work out.

One could argue planning television 5 years in advance is nonsense as too much changes too quickly that makes a 5 year time scale ridiculous.

But the plan - that Jay Leno agreed to and endorsed - was that he would have retired by now. Back in 2004-5 when they were setting this up, 2010 seemed like ages away and that wasn't a radical expectation.

Everyone probably also hoped that Conan would have risen in prominence and viewership over the 5 years. They probably also hoped that health or other concerns might have sidelined or reduced Letterman by now.

Fast forward to 2009 and turns out Leno wasn't so keen on retiring, and Conan didn't quite establish himself as the mainstream choice, and Letterman was consistently holding down #1, having emerged from health and scandal to be as strong as ever.

And an hour of available late night viewership by cable customers got swallowed up with the rise of TDS and the introduction of Colbert Report.

You're right that this situation did work out to Conan's disadvantage, after all he'd already contributed primarily to his obligations under the 3 way deal by staying with NBC from 2004-2009. Now it was time for the other parties to make their contributions. But the new scenario made it harder for them to honor. Leno clearly didn't retire gracefully, and NBC gave Conan a somewhat half-hearted introduction to the spot and just one season to build viewership.

Quote:
Originally Posted by liquidthunder
(1) The Jay Leno Show was a last-minute conceived program in order to keep what turned out to be the still #1 late night personality at the network.
Do you mean #1 within NBC? Because Leno isn't #1 in late night.

Quote:
Originally Posted by liquidthunder
It's pretty clear that they hadn't considered the potential impact on Conan's show.
Actually it's quite clear they did consider the impact extensively and their strategy was openly discussed in public. The impact they intended was to provide a strong lead-in for Conan and replace costly drama with lower cost talk show in that slot. It was hardly a casual decision it was probably their most deeply considered decision of the year. It just didn't work out as hoped.


Quote:
Originally Posted by liquidthunder
(2) Correct me if I'm wrong, but Conan was only introduced to the Tonight Show audience on Jay's final show before he took over hosting duties. Obviously, people could have tuned into Conan on his old show at the later hour, but I think it would have been better if they'd eased Conan into the new gig with a couple of guest host appearances in advance. It might have helped the audience get used to his unique style of comedy, and resulted in him retaining more of Jay's viewers.
I'm not sure I agree. Conan's style is so different. I don't think a tiny amount of extra exposure would suddenly make mainstream viewers crave something totally different than what they already know they want. Besides, there's big gaps between seasons.

They could have employed strategies like heavily seeding the tonight show with embedded promotion for Conan's later show on a daily basis. I don't mean just standard ad break promos, but making Conan a part of their actual program. Have Jay interview Conan mid-show about what to expect on the program later. Have him answer with some teasers that might carry some viewers across the break.

This kind of thing was done effectively when TDS spun off Colbert Report. Now that cross promotion isn't necessary, it's stayed on as a running bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by liquidthunder
However, Conan definitely got the shaft because of NBC's lack of forethought.
Don't discount Conan's inability to draw an audience... that's the key issue. If he had viewers, we wouldn't be talking about any of this.


Quote:
Originally Posted by liquidthunder
Like I said, it makes perfect sense from a business perspective why NBC is now doing what it is doing.
If you mean dismantling a schedule that's tanking then yes. Paying out $45 million for nothing isn't good business though, even with the spinning that's going on.

If I'm running NBC, I'm finding as much money as I can to poach TDS/Colbert over to my network. That's business sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by liquidthunder
And yeah, NBC could have played hardball with Conan, but I'm actually glad they weren't total jerks about it all and were willing to compensate him and his staff for their blunder.
Well I feel for the staff. But the essential issue is that the show flopped. Not sure I agree that being paid jackpot money for failing is entirely a good thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by liquidthunder
Anyways, I'm going to watch Conan's last Tonight Show later tonight!! Who would've thought that we'd see two ends of an era, so to speak, with respect to changing hosts on the Tonight Show in less than a year?!
To me the most shocking thing has been the choice of Jimmy Fallon as a talk show host. I'll be amazed if that ever works out.
2010-01-23 12:06 AM
liquidthunder It would be 2 hours too much for some people on here

25 minutes or so until the Tonight Show ...
2010-01-22 11:45 PM
jumpy27 NBC is going to keep the 10PM Jay Leno show on until February 11--2 hours of Leno/night would be 1 hour too much!
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