NBC tries to fix this mess

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NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby mhansen » Sun Jan 10, 2010 12:08 pm

"NBC confirmed today that "The Jay Leno Show" will be pulled out of the 10 p.m. timeslot.
"I can confirm that beginning February 12 'The Jay Leno Show' will no longer air at 10 p.m. While it was performing at acceptable levels, [it was not working] for the affiliates. I have spoken to all of them. 'The Jay Leno Show' will air at 11:35 p.m., Conan O'Brien at 12:05 a.m. and Jimmy Fallon at 1:05 a.m. As much as I would like to tell you we have a done deal, the talks are ongoing," Jeff Gaspin, Chairman, NBC Universal Television Entertainment told reporters at a TCA press conference.
"Jay, Conan and Jimmy were gracious and professional," Gaspin continues. "Beyond that, it is a private conversation. When all this settles, you are welcome to ask them [how they feel]."
The proposal is that Conan will still be the host of "The Tonight Show," Gaspin explained, which would now start at 12:05 a.m.
The network has numerous hourlong series in the works, according to Angela Bromstad, President, Primetime Entertainment, NBC and Universal Media Studios, including "Undercover,' which will be directed by J.J. Abrams, "Prime Suspect" -- based on the UK series -- "Chase" from Jerry Bruckheimer, "Love Bites" -- a comedy -- and "Rockford Files" from David Chase."
http://www.etonline.com/news/2010/01/82729/


Most interesting thing in this- Rockford Files. As in Jim Rockford. As in who in the heck could ever replace James Garner?!
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby mkiker2089 » Sun Jan 10, 2010 12:42 pm

I just don't get it. They messed up pushing Conan into the Tonight Show. Either fire Jay or don't. There are only so many hours a night, and only so much late night programing that people will watch.

I say Fallon needs to jump ship and take over the 11 o'clock slot to compete with Conan and Letterman directly. He's more polished than Conan and more approachable than Letterman so he would do fine. Yes it would further reduce each ones audience but that's just the new economics of an overcrowded line up. At 1:05 I imagine his audience is already less than a third anyway so there's nowhere to go but up.
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby Dan Mancini » Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:00 pm

mkiker2089 wrote:Either fire Conan or don't.

Fixed. Because that's what this is really about. NBC might be inclined to just cancel Leno's show if Conan was delivering on the ratings front, but he's not. What they actually want is to can Conan and put Jay back on the Tonight Show, but they can't have that without having to shell out a few tractor trailers full of cash to Conan. So they're playing games with the schedule to try to keep Jay, Conan, Jimmy, the affiliates, and audiences happy when, in all likelihood, they're probably just going to piss everyone off.

Pop some corn, everyone. This promises to be more entertaining than the great Leno-Letterman war of a couple decades ago.
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby HGervais » Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:44 pm

If The Tonight Show begins at 12:05am does that mean they will rename it The Tomorrow Show? I for one have never seen the attraction Jay Leno holds for people. All The Tonight Show did was take a moderately amusing comic and make him even blander. Letterman has always been funnier and Conan is almost as funny. If talent were the baseline Leno would already have a late night show on Fox. But whatever....I'm just happy to see NBC's primetime experiment in putting creative people out of work has failed.
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby mkiker2089 » Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:53 pm

I kept waiting for Conan to get the hang of it and be funny, but he never did. It almost seems like he's sabatoging himself. Letterman does the self deprecating humor that seems to work but Conan is going more for the Bob Sagat AFV approach. It wasn't funny then, isn't funny now. Conan is clever and quick but perhaps the show isn't the best outlet. I think he needs to move to a channel where he can cut loose and be crazy.

Here's my take on it, Leno isn't necessarily bad either but his time has passed. The shows relevance has passed is perhaps more accurate. Late night shows like that just don't have a place like they used to.

We no longer need to tune in every night for the latest Hollywood gossip because we get it real time. We no longer want to view the latest American Royalty because we are disenchanted with them. We no longer need a single source of varied entertainment because we have infinite sources. And we no longer tune in loyally to any one source because we are so deluded with choices that we are compelled to taste everything.

The networks want to get back to the gravy days where all people could do at night was turn the TV on and you had three channels to choose from. Those days are gone. TV competes not only with other channels but other activities as well.

If Conan had self respect he'd quit. He should negotiate a settlement before NBC finds a loophole to put the Tonight Show at 3 am and give Jay the Night Show or some other clever loophole encasing name.
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby mkiker2089 » Sun Jan 10, 2010 2:00 pm

Let me add that no matter what cash Conan would cost them if they broke the contract, the Leno crowd has already cost them by abandoning the show. Only now it may be too late to get them back. I have no doubt in my mind that if NBC had enough faith that they could recapture the Carson / Leno audience they'd pay Conan a million dollars to get rid of him. At this point though, would it work or would they just lose what crowd Conan has?

Harold, I too wonder why people cling to Leno. He's not bad, but Carson he ain't. From what I've read a lot of the audience took it personally when he left. I wonder if it's the way it happened. Carson left because he was ready to retire and he was at an age where retirement is more acceptable. Leno from day one had a date stamped on his forehead and all these shenanigans make it feel even more forced.
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby Steve T Power » Mon Jan 11, 2010 5:52 am

Wow! I think Conan is the only one on TV WORTH watching. Letterman is a curmudgeonly old man who's scthick got old 16 years ago, Leno has the charisma, but i'd rather watch him do an automotive show (Jay's Garage is one kick ass website), and Jimmy Fallon, while i love him for pandering to the techies and the video game geeks, just lacks the charisma. Give me Conan O'Brien and his wacky Irish antics any day of the week.
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby SmokestackJones » Mon Jan 11, 2010 6:34 am

Ahhhhh, while all this is going on everyone is watching Craig Ferguson.

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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby booklover » Mon Jan 11, 2010 6:45 am

Somebody please tell me where it is written, where is the law that states NBC HAS to have news at 11:00 pm??
Put the Tonight Show with Jay on at 11 p.m. and give Conan a different show at 12 p.m.
I get my news at 10 p.m. and from the Internet. I don't have to watch it at 11 pm. Surely there are many other people that would tune in to Jay at 11, instead of watching the news, because you can get it at anytime.
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby Dan Mancini » Mon Jan 11, 2010 7:13 am

Steve T Power wrote:Wow! I think Conan is the only one on TV WORTH watching. Letterman is a curmudgeonly old man who's scthick got old 16 years ago, Leno has the charisma, but i'd rather watch him do an automotive show (Jay's Garage is one kick ass website), and Jimmy Fallon, while i love him for pandering to the techies and the video game geeks, just lacks the charisma. Give me Conan O'Brien and his wacky Irish antics any day of the week.

Word. I've never been a Leno fan. He's a likable enough dude, but just not funny. I loved Letterman back in the day, but the loss of the Tonight Show seems to have utterly destroyed him. He's never been the same. Conan is the bomb, the true heir of Letterman in the way that Letterman should've been the heir of Carson.

Johnny's retirement is where it all went wrong. Had Letterman been given the Tonight Show, I think he'd have aged into a non-curmudgeonly elder statesmen of late night talk shows. And Conan is perfect for the Late Night gig. I suspect that's what Carson was hoping for but NBC screwed the pooch.
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby the5thghostbuster » Mon Jan 11, 2010 11:44 am

Dan Mancini wrote:
Steve T Power wrote:Wow! I think Conan is the only one on TV WORTH watching. Letterman is a curmudgeonly old man who's scthick got old 16 years ago, Leno has the charisma, but i'd rather watch him do an automotive show (Jay's Garage is one kick ass website), and Jimmy Fallon, while i love him for pandering to the techies and the video game geeks, just lacks the charisma. Give me Conan O'Brien and his wacky Irish antics any day of the week.

Word. I've never been a Leno fan. He's a likable enough dude, but just not funny. I loved Letterman back in the day, but the loss of the Tonight Show seems to have utterly destroyed him. He's never been the same. Conan is the bomb, the true heir of Letterman in the way that Letterman should've been the heir of Carson.

Johnny's retirement is where it all went wrong. Had Letterman been given the Tonight Show, I think he'd have aged into a non-curmudgeonly elder statesmen of late night talk shows. And Conan is perfect for the Late Night gig. I suspect that's what Carson was hoping for but NBC screwed the pooch.


Count me as another backer of Conan. Leno was a decent enough care taker for the Tonight show, but his time was mostly spent pandering to the audience. Letterman I've only ever caught since his time at CBS, and...its alright. Maybe if I had been there in his glory days, I would have a greater love of his show, but these days, it's nothing spectacular.

I have to admit a like to Jimmy Kimmel's show as well. Fallon however...well, he tries hard.
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby HGervais » Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:03 am

Conan, Dave & Craig address the late night climate in their respective monolouges.
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby erich » Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:31 pm

Conan's statement on why he won't do the Leno Half Hour/Tonight Show clustermug:

http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/12/conan-obrien-says-he-wont-do-tonight-show-following-leno/

I'm not much into late night comedy, but I've always liked Conan. Sucks that he has to pay the price for this craziness.
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby J.M. Vargas » Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:48 pm

This letter/statement needs to be posted in full because it's gloriously simple and BS-free:

People of Earth:

In the last few days, I’ve been getting a lot of sympathy calls, and I want to start by making it clear that no one should waste a second feeling sorry for me. For 17 years, I’ve been getting paid to do what I love most and, in a world with real problems, I’ve been absurdly lucky. That said, I’ve been suddenly put in a very public predicament and my bosses are demanding an immediate decision.

Six years ago, I signed a contract with NBC to take over The Tonight Show in June of 2009. Like a lot of us, I grew up watching Johnny Carson every night and the chance to one day sit in that chair has meant everything to me. I worked long and hard to get that opportunity, passed up far more lucrative offers, and since 2004 I have spent literally hundreds of hours thinking of ways to extend the franchise long into the future. It was my mistaken belief that, like my predecessor, I would have the benefit of some time and, just as important, some degree of ratings support from the prime-time schedule. Building a lasting audience at 11:30 is impossible without both.

But sadly, we were never given that chance. After only seven months, with my Tonight Show in its infancy, NBC has decided to react to their terrible difficulties in prime-time by making a change in their long-established late night schedule.

Last Thursday, NBC executives told me they intended to move the Tonight Show to 12:05 to accommodate the Jay Leno Show at 11:35. For 60 years the Tonight Show has aired immediately following the late local news. I sincerely believe that delaying the Tonight Show into the next day to accommodate another comedy program will seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting. The Tonight Show at 12:05 simply isn’t the Tonight Show. Also, if I accept this move I will be knocking the Late Night show, which I inherited from David Letterman and passed on to Jimmy Fallon, out of its long-held time slot. That would hurt the other NBC franchise that I love, and it would be unfair to Jimmy.

So it has come to this: I cannot express in words how much I enjoy hosting this program and what an enormous personal disappointment it is for me to consider losing it. My staff and I have worked unbelievably hard and we are very proud of our contribution to the legacy of The Tonight Show. But I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction. Some people will make the argument that with DVRs and the Internet a time slot doesn’t matter. But with the Tonight Show, I believe nothing could matter more.

There has been speculation about my going to another network but, to set the record straight, I currently have no other offer and honestly have no idea what happens next. My hope is that NBC and I can resolve this quickly so that my staff, crew, and I can do a show we can be proud of, for a company that values our work.

Have a great day and, for the record, I am truly sorry about my hair; it’s always been that way.

Yours,

Conan
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby the5thghostbuster » Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:34 pm

Well, thank you for that bit of class Conan. Further proof that you deserve the show more than anyone else.
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby J.M. Vargas » Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:02 pm

^^^ Which probably means he won't get to keep it. :(
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby the5thghostbuster » Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:18 pm

J.M. Vargas wrote:^^^ Which probably means he won't get to keep it. :(


Sad, but most likely true. :cry:
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby mkiker2089 » Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:13 pm

This all started when the contracts were signed and when Letterman was screwed over.

1- why did Leno allow the six year retirement clause?
2- Why won't he man up and retire?
3- Why is NBC placating him?
4- I'm curious as to what Letterman thinks seeing how it's playing out again much like it did years ago, only Conan has more force than Letterman.
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby Stubblecat » Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:15 pm

Conan made the smartest and most dignified decision. Good for him. I hope that maybe Fox will be smart enough to offer him plenty of money, creative control and support to move his show over there at the same timeslot.
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby J.M. Vargas » Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:15 pm

http://www.deadline.com/hollywood/conan-obrien-resigning-tonight-show/

BREAKING NEWS! 3RD UPDATE: I've learned about a meeting that began at 1:45 PM at NBC Universal about The Conan War: On one side of the room -- NBCU bigwigs Jeff Gaspin and Marc Graboff. On the other -- O'Brien's reps: manager Gavin Palone, WME agent and board member Rick Rosen, and the newest member of Team O'Brien, Hollywood litigator Patty Glaser, who was hired on Sunday and is WME's legal shark of choice. I wouldn't want to be Gaspin or Graboff right now: Gavin can be as mean as a rabid dog, Rick's agency reps 60% of the TV talent, and Glaser is a pitbull. This is bloodsport.

I've learned both NBCU chief Jeff Zucker as well as Gaspin were told that, before it went out, Conan was publicly making that statement (see below). My insiders say O'Brien's reps didn't want him to do it. "They were not thrilled. They told him it would undercut his negotiating leverage," one source revealed to me. "But Conan wouldn't listen to them. He wanted to make it." When Conan read the statement to the staff, "he broke up. He began to cry," one of my insiders reveals. "Because for 17 years he was working towards The Tonight Show, and now he says he's prepared to walk away from it. That's an amazing thing. An amazing thing. But he takes very seriously the fact that The Tonight Show baton was passed to him."


Also, NBC looking around for guest hosts for "The Tonight Show" if Conan walks and/or is a no-show between now and Feb. 12th (last day of regular programming before the Winter Olympics): http://www.thewrap.com/ind-column/conan-crisis-nbc-looking-tonight-show-guest-hosts-12879.
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby HGervais » Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:23 pm

Stubblecat wrote:Conan made the smartest and most dignified decision. Good for him. I hope that maybe Fox will be smart enough to offer him plenty of money, creative control and support to move his show over there at the same timeslot.

That comment loses sight of this being all about The Tonight Show and the legacy Conan inherited. I have little doubt O'Brian will land on his feet some where if he indeed does walk away but like Letterman before him this is all about the chair Carson, Parr and Allen occupied before him and The Tonight Show's place in television history.
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby Steve T Power » Tue Jan 12, 2010 7:01 pm

I think it's complete and utter bullshit that the only talent that's even relevant is the one getting hosed here.
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby Stubblecat » Tue Jan 12, 2010 7:10 pm

HGervais wrote:
Stubblecat wrote:Conan made the smartest and most dignified decision. Good for him. I hope that maybe Fox will be smart enough to offer him plenty of money, creative control and support to move his show over there at the same timeslot.

That comment loses sight of this being all about The Tonight Show and the legacy Conan inherited. I have little doubt O'Brian will land on his feet some where if he indeed does walk away but like Letterman before him this is all about the chair Carson, Parr and Allen occupied before him and The Tonight Show's place in television history.


No... The legacy is irrelevant in this day and age. The Tonight Show as a brand name lost its value with Jay Leno. Things like this no longer have any sentimental value in realistic terms. So a few of us Gen X folk loved watching Carson... Television loyalty has transformed over the years. Unfortunately there aren't any legions of fans demanding the sacred torch of the Tonight Show be carried on for decades to come.

The Tonight Show ended with Carson. It's television history now. Modern TV is about personalities. O'Brien is a great modern TV personality, and any network (I chose Fox because it's lacking a heavyweight late night show) would be smart to add them to its roster. But any sentimentality about the Tonight Show is misplaced.
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby HGervais » Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:24 pm

Stubblecat wrote:No... The legacy is irrelevant in this day and age. The Tonight Show as a brand name lost its value with Jay Leno. Things like this no longer have any sentimental value in realistic terms. So a few of us Gen X folk loved watching Carson... Television loyalty has transformed over the years. Unfortunately there aren't any legions of fans demanding the sacred torch of the Tonight Show be carried on for decades to come.

The Tonight Show ended with Carson. It's television history now. Modern TV is about personalities. O'Brien is a great modern TV personality, and any network (I chose Fox because it's lacking a heavyweight late night show) would be smart to add them to its roster. But any sentimentality about the Tonight Show is misplaced.

If you read Conan's statement clearly the legacy of The Tonight Show is not irrelevent to him and that is what he is fighting for. The Tonight Show was clearly not irrelevant to Letterman and to comics in general The Tonight Show will always be the Yankee Stadium of comedy. Irrelevant is what it means to NBC but not to O'Brian.
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby Dunnyman » Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:35 pm

Put the whole lot of them together and they still ain't fit to carry Carson's jock. When Johnny said good night, so did I.
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby Dan Mancini » Wed Jan 13, 2010 6:41 am

Steve T Power wrote:I think it's complete and utter bullshit that the only talent that's even relevant is the one getting hosed here.

Hear hear. And also that these jackholes are effing with the Tonight Show this way. I mean, it's the Tonight Show.
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby booklover » Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:53 am

mkiker2089 wrote:This all started when the contracts were signed and when Letterman was screwed over.

1- why did Leno allow the six year retirement clause?

Beacuse Leno is a nice guy...too nice, actually,
Nobody is going to tell me that Jay was happy about giving up the show to Conan. He may very well like Conan as a person and talent, but the show was clearly his life. He didn't want to make waves and wanted to believe that NBC would make it worth his while if he stepped down.
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby molly1216 » Wed Jan 13, 2010 5:28 pm

Dunnyman wrote:Put the whole lot of them together and they still ain't fit to carry Carson's jock. When Johnny said good night, so did I.


what he said
though i confess that IF i am up and i remember
i watch craig ferguson.. he tickles me.
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby mkiker2089 » Wed Jan 13, 2010 6:37 pm

Leno's coming out as the bad guy generally and I'm not sure that fits. No one should be forced to retire after six years and why would people expect him to walk away from his life. The other networks have solid talent with Letterman, Ferguson who seems to have hit the ground running post Drew, and Kimmel who seems like he was born to host.

Here's what they need to do
- give Jay a half hour show somewhere else. An hour at 10 made the network to talk heavy. Perhaps give him a weekend show.
- Keep Conan where he is, keep Fallon
- Carson Daly should jump ship and follow Kimmel on ABC. It would round out the three with "later" late shows. Daly was on Kimmel and seems talented enough if he had good writers and a good show around him.
- shake up NBC behind the scenes, NBC can't make a good talk show now if it would kill them. Conan is carrying the network on his own and it's too much.
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby the5thghostbuster » Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:01 pm

mkiker2089 wrote:Leno's coming out as the bad guy generally and I'm not sure that fits. No one should be forced to retire after six years and why would people expect him to walk away from his life. The other networks have solid talent with Letterman, Ferguson who seems to have hit the ground running post Drew, and Kimmel who seems like he was born to host.

Here's what they need to do
- give Jay a half hour show somewhere else. An hour at 10 made the network to talk heavy. Perhaps give him a weekend show.
- Keep Conan where he is, keep Fallon
- Carson Daly should jump ship and follow Kimmel on ABC. It would round out the three with "later" late shows. Daly was on Kimmel and seems talented enough if he had good writers and a good show around him.
- shake up NBC behind the scenes, NBC can't make a good talk show now if it would kill them. Conan is carrying the network on his own and it's too much.


My problem with Leno is that if he didn't want to retire, if he was forced out, he should have made that public years ago when this was first announced. Instead, he went along with everything, and then said he would do everything he could to make the transition smooth for Conan. NOW he tries to play everything off as if he was a victim, including claiming just this past week on his show that his Tonight Show was cancelledduring his opening. Um, no Jay, you agreed to go along with moving elsewhere and let Conan have the show.

Furthermore, when Leno first started, he benifited from being given a chance to succeed with the show when he was getting killed at first. What does Jay do while Conan was going through the same thing? State openly that if he was offered the 11:35 time back, he would take it. Real class Leno.
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby mkiker2089 » Wed Jan 13, 2010 10:20 pm

I think at the time the contracts were signed no one was really thinking clearly. Jay had just been part of a coup against Letterman, the Arsenio Hall feud was in high swing (I still don't know what people saw in him, reverse racism perhaps) and Conan was an out of nowhere comedian brought in last minute to replace Dave. Lets not forget Jay had an agent at the time that was skimming profits and bullying others for her own gain. There's no telling how much she got in exchange for allowing the Conan six year deal but I'm sure she had a part in it. Those were ugly times. I imagine Jay sort of went along with it like it was just any other clause that didn't exactly go his way. Over the years however is slowly became clear that a change wasn't right for NBC or for Jay personally. Contracts had to be carried out however and now we have a lot of hard feelings because someone six years ago was an idiot when they created the deals.
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby HGervais » Wed Jan 13, 2010 10:22 pm

mkiker2089 wrote:Leno's coming out as the bad guy generally and I'm not sure that fits. No one should be forced to retire after six years and why would people expect him to walk away from his life. The other networks have solid talent with Letterman, Ferguson who seems to have hit the ground running post Drew, and Kimmel who seems like he was born to host.

What do you mean 6 years? Carson handed over The Tonight Show to Leno in what 1992...1993? So Leno had the show for at least 17 years. NBC is the bad guy in this...Leno....I think Leno should just walk away. There has to be some clause in his contract that frees him with NBC trying to move him back the way they want to.
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby mkiker2089 » Wed Jan 13, 2010 10:40 pm

HGervais wrote:
mkiker2089 wrote:Leno's coming out as the bad guy generally and I'm not sure that fits. No one should be forced to retire after six years and why would people expect him to walk away from his life. The other networks have solid talent with Letterman, Ferguson who seems to have hit the ground running post Drew, and Kimmel who seems like he was born to host.

What do you mean 6 years? Carson handed over The Tonight Show to Leno in what 1992...1993? So Leno had the show for at least 17 years. NBC is the bad guy in this...Leno....I think Leno should just walk away. There has to be some clause in his contract that frees him with NBC trying to move him back the way they want to.


Sorry, brain lapse. I was thinking this was part of the Kushnik deal (was that her name) but it probably wasn't given the amount of time. I know Conan was in line from day one because they didn't want another Letterman scandal but there must have been contracts since. Why Jay was forced out now is still a mystery though.

I think Jay probably could walk away, but to do what. It's his life. I think he has chosen not to walk away and wants to stay at 10. It just won't work though, not everyone can win all the time.

In a way NBC isn't being bad as much as selfish and short sighted. They are trying to get everyone and their audience.
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby mavrach » Wed Jan 13, 2010 10:43 pm

I don't know how NBC can untie this knot.

I think Leno has a warm presence, but he just didn't make me laugh. There was no edge there, nothing special. I don't think that The Tonight Show is a particular brand that is special. Regardless of the show title, all of these shows are just a comedian with a monologue, some odd sketches, and guest interviews. The Tonight Show I think just happened to be helmed by the master that was Johnny Carson, followed by the eventual success of Leno. It's the personality that counts, and at this point any talent can come into any network with a show.

I've been a Letterman fan for a long time now. I don't think he has a huge mainstream appeal, but his quirkiness is just what reels in people. One of the funniest thing I ever saw him do was to randomly pet his suit sleeve and say "nice kitty, nice kitty."

Considering that Letterman was regularly beaten by Leno, I was stunned to see Letterman washing the floor with Conan. I was expecting Conan to be the death of Letterman, but here I see the opposite.


So NBC was afraid to lose Conan, rightfully so. But what would have happened if Conan left? Conan Vs. Leno Vs. Letterman all at 11:30? Wouldn't this sub-divide the viewership of all of these shows too much? None of them would be dominant enought to really succeeed, and I think this would have been a no-win scenario all around, but this is what NBC was afraid of?

So they took the gamble and booted Leno, but this happened so pubicly and unfairly to Leno that now the whole network looks bad. And it's just furthermore that they try to make everybody happy by changing late night TV entirely and giving Leno that earlier show.. Then when that doesn't work they keep shifting and shifting. It just looks unprofessional.


Oh well, none of this affects me since I watch Letterman and Ferguson.
+1. this is very interesting.
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby Dunnyman » Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:11 pm

OK, I haven't followed this mess all that closely, as I said, once Johnny was done, so was I, but the problem seems to be you have a group of people who are still trying to fill some pretty big shoes, right? I don't care who was supposed to retire or get a new show or what, but in my opinion, none of them have ever come close to what Carson was capable of. So why keep trying to replicate it, why not try a whole different tact with someone who is equally funny as a performer AND writer and let them bring their own brand of crazy to it? Conan's problem is while he's a very good writer, he's not a natural performer. Leno's got a good stage presence, but he needs a huge staff of writers to keep him going, and Letterman's in the same boat, only as good as his writers. While Johnny had some great writers, he was fast on his feet to improvise (or further sabotage) a dying gag or routine. His shoes are too big to fill, so get a different set of shoes.
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby Dan Mancini » Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:35 pm

mkiker2089 wrote:I think Jay probably could walk away, but to do what. It's his life. I think he has chosen not to walk away and wants to stay at 10. It just won't work though, not everyone can win all the time.

Leno's not walking away because his contract says that he gets to have a show called The Jay Leno Show for 3 years or NBC has to pay him $80 million. He'd be a fool to walk away. Conan's deal says he gets to host The Tonight Show or NBC has to pay him $60 million. That's why NBC wants to essentially put Leno back on The Tonight Show but call it The Jay Leno Show, and move The Tonight Show to 12:05 a.m. -- it'd be a stupid mess but it would technically honor all of their contractual obligations.
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby HGervais » Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:03 pm

TMZ is reporting, and NBC denying, that the network has handed The Tonight Show back to Jay Leno.
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby mhansen » Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:17 pm

Let's just bring Graham Norton across the pond and be done with it all.
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby HGervais » Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:28 pm

mhansen wrote:Let's just bring Graham Norton across the pond and be done with it all.

Looks like he is replacing Jonathan Ross.
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby mkiker2089 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:53 pm

I think NBC should just can the entire thing. Between Kimmel and Letterman the audience is already too thin. They should do what many cable channels do and repeat prime time stuff at night. It halves the cost and couldn't do any worse. If NBC gets a strong prime time again then it could in theory do very well. Imagine Cosby in his glory days at 11:30, or Sienfeld. People would have tuned in to it. Cheap programing like reality TV and talk shows just don't cut it anymore and battling with the others with copycat programing won't either.

Advertisers are getting by with murder also, which attributes to the problem. Ad space has gotten so cheap that the stations are putting in more and more commercials daily. The excess commercials alienate viewers lowering audience and ad value, causing a death spiral. I don't know the answer to fix that but if TV in general wants to survive they need to find it. Perhaps less sponsors but go back to the older scheme where you give those sponsors better treatment including celebrity endorsements.

I still don't fully blame Leno. I don't know who put the retirement on him or how but it's not fair to him that Conan was given control over it.
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby the5thghostbuster » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:16 pm

mkiker2089 wrote:I think NBC should just can the entire thing. Between Kimmel and Letterman the audience is already too thin. They should do what many cable channels do and repeat prime time stuff at night. It halves the cost and couldn't do any worse. If NBC gets a strong prime time again then it could in theory do very well. Imagine Cosby in his glory days at 11:30, or Sienfeld. People would have tuned in to it. Cheap programing like reality TV and talk shows just don't cut it anymore and battling with the others with copycat programing won't either.

Advertisers are getting by with murder also, which attributes to the problem. Ad space has gotten so cheap that the stations are putting in more and more commercials daily. The excess commercials alienate viewers lowering audience and ad value, causing a death spiral. I don't know the answer to fix that but if TV in general wants to survive they need to find it. Perhaps less sponsors but go back to the older scheme where you give those sponsors better treatment including celebrity endorsements.

I still don't fully blame Leno. I don't know who put the retirement on him or how but it's not fair to him that Conan was given control over it.


This assumes that Conan was the one pushing for him out. More than likely, NBC wanted Conan, and pushed Jay into retiring. But again, no matter what else, Jay could have made that public a LONG time ago. However, he didn't. He chose to go along with it all, and promised to make the transition smooth. Since then, he has done anything but.

Secondly, it took Leno two years to build an audience and beat Letterman. Conan was barely on air for five months before Jay claimed he would take an 1135 show again. If this had happened to Jay years ago, what do you think he would have been claiming then?
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby mkiker2089 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:27 pm

it seems official. The local affiliate announced the line up change. Oddly enough the anchors expressed sympathy for Conan. They are usually very good at being impartial even though news in general isn't anymore. I wonder what the backlash will be.

See, I'm kind of out of it because I too signed off with Carson. I liked Letterman and actually I tuned in to him more than Carson, but somehow it just never felt right after the change. Letterman isn't as wacky, there's no Larry Bud Melman, no second tier stars because that's all he can get etc.. His show is still great so maybe it's me that changed more than anything else but in any case I've been out of late night for almost 10 years.

I was just a kid staying up way too late and i remember a running gag for Letterman was telling the kids to wake their parents, get them to make you a pot of coffee and stay tuned. It really struck home. I wonder how many other kids tuned in. Not many I expect.
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby HGervais » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:31 pm

Conan had it written into his contract that he was to be given The Tonight Show in 2009. What went down was NBC's way of trying to have their cake while also eating it. The thing about Leno's show and The Tonight Show is both are super cheap to produce. In trying to take advantage of both men, and eliminating 5 hours of much more expensive scripted programs, NBC is probably going to lose the one with all the upside. In sports terms NBC is going with Trent Difler or Brad Johnson. They are sticking with the guy who won't lose them the game for now but in the process they are cutting Joe Montana aka known as the one who can win them many more games in the future. Shortsighted & knee jerk reactions = laughing stock.
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby J.M. Vargas » Thu Jan 14, 2010 11:31 pm

'You can't make chicken salad out of chicken s***'
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby booklover » Fri Jan 15, 2010 6:57 am

Dunnyman wrote:.While Johnny had some great writers, he was fast on his feet to improvise (or further sabotage) a dying gag or routine.


Not to digress, but that reminds me of an interview with Jonathan Winters around 10 years ago. Winters said he was done with doing late night talk shows, because none of the new guys could hold a candle to Johnny. He mentioned how he tried doing an improve sketch with Jay, and Jat just couldn't keep up. He was at a loss on what to do.
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby erich » Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:57 am

I feel bad for Conan, but I feel terrible for Andy Richter. The guy cannot catch a break on TV! Speaking of which, both Andy Richter Controls the Universe and Andy Barker, P.I. came out on DVD last year. If you haven't already, go buy them (after you've donated to Haiti relief, of course).
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby the5thghostbuster » Fri Jan 15, 2010 10:29 am

J.M. Vargas wrote:Jimmy Kimmel burns Jay Leno in his own house/show: http://tv.gawker.com/5448615/late-night-wars-jay-leno-turns-the-tables-and-bashes-conan-obrien-is-then-bashed-harder-by-jimmy-kimmel (second clip below). 8)


Saw this last night. Once again, I say Kimmel is the most underrated host in late night.
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Re: NBC tries to fix this mess

Postby mkiker2089 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 10:54 am

You have to know Jay expected that when he brought Kimmel on. Jay has always been the nice guy. Either that or he pretends very well.
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$30 MILLION BUCKS!

Postby J.M. Vargas » Fri Jan 15, 2010 6:15 pm

http://www.thewrap.com/article/breaking-nbc-pay-conan-30m-13048 :shock:

Conan gets $30 million to get the f*** out of NBC. No word yet on how long before Conan can appear on another network/show.
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Re: $30 MILLION BUCKS!

Postby Steve T Power » Fri Jan 15, 2010 6:49 pm

J.M. Vargas wrote:http://www.thewrap.com/article/breaking-nbc-pay-conan-30m-13048 :shock:

Conan gets $30 million to get the f*** out of NBC. No word yet on how long before Conan can appear on another network/show.



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