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-   -   'The Tonight Show' with Jay Leno ... The Sequel (https://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/29-whats-television/118639-tonight-show-jay-leno-sequel.html)

Neild 2010-01-22 05:14 AM

Regarding Leno's whole song and dance about being "fired twice"... it plays well on the show but lowers his credibility with people who know that's not true.

liquidthunder 2010-01-22 11:26 AM

Neild, we get it! You don't like Leno, but you don't need to beat a dead horse over the head here over and over again.

This whole mess with the Tonight Show boils down to the poor decision making of the executives at NBC. They figured that the Tonight Show would drop in the ratings by the time the transition would take place, and thus, making them look like geniuses by infusing new blood into the show. Instead, the Tonight Show with Jay Leno remained #1 in the ratings, and they were left with a dilemma. After 17 years, I imagine there probably was a certain sense of loyalty between NBC and Jay Leno, and that's probably why they didn't part ways in 2009 when the opportunity was there.

Obviously, NBC could have released him from the remainder from his contract, but then they'd be giving up the #1 rated late night talent to any rival network, which would probably come back to bite NBC in the ass. Also, Jay Leno could have just let the reminader of his contract expire and then jump ship to another network, but that probably would have been at least a year ... leaving his staff looking for other jobs in the meantime and potentially also diminishing his exposure in the public. So I can certainly why the Jay Leno Show came to fruition. Now, Conan O'Brien takes over the Tonight Show and his ratings slide over the summer until it falls behind the Late Show with David Letterman. As I noted earlier in this thread, Conan's ratings declined to the same level (2.5 million viewers) that he was seeing as host of Late Night in 2004, and about 50% lower than the ratings for the Tonight Show under Jay Leno. Meanwhile, the Jay Leno Show debuts in the fall and draws an average of 5 million viewers, which is considerably less than the former 10pm NBC dramas. This results in the affiliates receiving fewer viewers for their late night news, which eventually leads them to threaten backlash against the network unless something changes.

So, while Jay Leno's ratings would be considered a success @ 11:30pm, they're deemed a failure @ 10pm. Similarly, while Conan O'Brien's ratings would be considered a success @ 12:30am, they're a failure @ 11:30 pm. Both have been given several months to try grow their ratings numbers, but neither has been able to beyond the same numbers they were getting for their former shows. So I can understand NBC's reluctance to just keep the status quo for the sake of hoping that maybe something magical would happen, and meanwhile risk an all-out war with their affiliates. With Conan O'Brien refusing to move the Tonight Show back half an hour, he basically sealed his fate at NBC. Jay Leno was the #1 rated late night personality, and outdrew Conan O'Brien in terms of viewers at both 10pm and 11:30pm. From a strictly business perspective, it makes perfect sense, in the short term, to retain Jay Leno and terminate Conan O'Brien. Maybe in the long term this will also be declared a huge mistake, but I can certainly understand why NBC is doing it.

At the end of the day, blaming Jay Leno for this mess is foolish as this was all NBC's doing from 2004 to 2010. It brings to mind the classic phrase: "Don't fix what isn't broken."

JesseJ 2010-01-22 12:50 PM

The real question is what happens to 'Masturbating Bear'?

redzone 2010-01-22 02:12 PM

ahha or

CONANDO!!


well hopefully when September comes Conan will have a new show i can watch.

tonight should be good either way. i wonder how he will top the 4.8 million dollar KD winner watching restricted football footage lol

NB Josh 2010-01-22 03:26 PM

I hope that the Masturbating Bear makes a return tonight. He was my favourite part of Late Night.

I was kind of hoping to see Conan take apart pieces of the studio to give away to the audience like he did when Late Night finished its run last year.

james99 2010-01-22 03:29 PM

liquidthunder: I think you summed things up fairly well.

Tezster 2010-01-22 03:54 PM

I read that all the intellectual property rights (how a masturbating bear can count as an intellectual property right, I have no clue) stay with NBC. So whatever Conan wants to do, he should get it all out tonight. In any event, what's to stop Conan from creating similar characters on his next show, like a masturbating panda? :)

A good running skit for tonight would be if Conan handed the audience auction paddles and he literally auctions parts of the set off bit by bit, until the very end when he's standing on a completely empty stage using flashlights for lighting - he could even hire actors to play NBC execs furiously bidding for all the merchandise.

I'm thinking if he does one of his 'in the year 2000' sketches, he could really pile up on the parting zingers and one-liners.

rsambuca 2010-01-22 04:22 PM

There was a similar issue with Intellectual Property rights when Letterman left NBC. NBC was threatening lawsuits over Dave's Top Ten list, but in the end, Dave just kept on doing them and the issue eventually just blew over.

talljak 2010-01-22 04:30 PM

If Conan really wants to rub salt into things, he could have a masturbating peacock.

rsambuca 2010-01-22 06:03 PM

I'm guessing that the tradition of having the next Tonight Show host as your last guest isn't going to be followed tonight!

liquidthunder 2010-01-22 06:10 PM

tezster, there's nothing stopping Conan from creating similar characters on a new show, much in the same way that David Letterman used many of his old Late Night bits on the Late Show, but simply changed the names of them.

ScaryBob 2010-01-22 06:12 PM

Quote:

After 17 years, I imagine there probably was a certain sense of loyalty between NBC and Jay Leno, and that's probably why they didn't part ways in 2009 when the opportunity was there.
I doubt loyalty has anything to do with it, at least for NBC. They saw an opportunity to produce a low cost prime time show with acceptable ratings and make more money. They also didn't want Leno to compete with The Tonight Show on another network (aka another late night fiasco like Letterman moving to CBS.) In Leno's mind, loyalty might have played a role, but then so did the money.

liquidthunder 2010-01-22 06:34 PM

ScaryBob, I'm pretty sure he could've gotten just as much money out of another network for a show, so that point is kind of moot. As far as loyalty, there is obviously some sort of mutual respect between both sides, otherwise why on earth would they continue their business relationship? The opportunity was certainly there to part ways if either side was unhappy.

Neild 2010-01-22 07:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by liquidthunder
Neild, we get it! You don't like Leno, but you don't need to beat a dead horse over the head here over and over again.

[...]
At the end of the day, blaming Jay Leno for this mess is foolish as this was all NBC's doing from 2004 to 2010. It brings to mind the classic phrase: "Don't fix what isn't broken."

Liquidthunder, we get it! You worship Jay Leno. :-)

But seriously, I usually just address certain specific points by different people in separate, shorter posts others prefer the wall of text approach covering everything in one post. Individual preference I guess.

Anyway your points are pretty valid. Except where you say "don't fix what isn't broken".

There was a critical point when they had to do something. It was years ago when they risked losing Conan. To keep him, deals were struck and long-term promises were made involving the 3 main parties.

So it wasn't really a matter of them unnecessarily tinkering with something that wasn't broken - there was a situation that required action & decisions.

The more recent gyrations are all about how well or not well those deals worked out for the involved parties and how some or all of them might now want to change things.

Word is that Conan's deal only stipulated he host something called 'the tonight show' and there was no timeslot specified. So, hardball though it might be, one option for NBC would have been to rejig it so the 'Jay Leno Night Show' was in Conan's slot, and Conan would be pushed back an hour. He wouldn't like it, but there's not much he could do about it.

The two likely outcomes would have been:
a) NBC goes back to Jay followed by Conan and tries to get back some ratings.
b) Conan is disgruntled, he breaches to go elsewhere. NBC saves $45 million, Conan foots the bill for the employees his breach will affect.

Either of these is a better business option than what they've done.

It's nonsense that to shell out $45 million and get nothing in return when you could have legally and morally achieved the same result without wasting that much.

jumpy27 2010-01-22 07:21 PM

I believe that NBC did not want a court case on its hands with the recent Comcast purchase of them. NBC is a small part of the purchase, so small a part that Comcast caluculated the value of NBC as "0"--they wanted the other channels in the package.

Quote:

Originally Posted by james99 (Post 1049559)
liquidthunder: I think you summed things up fairly well.

I second that motion! Are you a lawyer liquidthunder?


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