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I always knew this was a mistake — NBC makes a million mistakes and have seriously botched this one up — why Zucker was even promoted is beyond me. Why fourth place NBC would mess with number jay leno at the tonight show is beyond me — why Leno would agree to stick with NBC instead of going to ABC where I am sure he would have gotten more respect is unthinkable. Poor Conan but really if I were NBC I would let Conan go — a half hour Leno show? That’s insane. And just another poor move by NBC just like them not putting Heroes after the Superbowl to rejuvenate the show, like cancelling Southland — I could go on and on. NBC has managed to repeat the tonight show debacle all over again.
Jay does MUCH better comedy when he’s pissed! (Take that either way)
Looks like Jay is helping them make a decision.
Gotta love it.
A network in a no-win situation.
Hosts in a no-win situation.
NBC deserves the grilling for everything that’s happening.
Conan should flee to FOX (or ABC) and make it a three-way race at 11:30. F’ck the “penalty.” Leno is 59 years old. Add a second competitor at 11:30 and let’s see what happens in the ratings.
Even better scenario: Conan steps away and flirts with FOX and ABC…then signs to replace LETTERMAN on CBS in the fall.
How would NBC like them apples? And have no one in the “wings” to replace their still-aging TONIGHT SHOW host, Leno.
I think he’s 60 or 61. Not exactly the guy you want to lead you into the future. Even Johnny Carson retired at 64.
NBC let Leno take the blame for so many shows being cut and people losing their jobs when they FORCED him to move to 10pm. Now they want to take it back and piss-off all the people who love Conan and who had done a great job without sleeping with any of his crew. I hope Leno and Conan both leave NBC and do to the network what the network did to them and it’s viewers – totally fuck them.
Conan never got a fair shake when he got the Tonight Show. His ratings are not being judged on a level playing field because usually when a talk show host leaves the Tonight Show, he doesn’t get another talk show which goes on prior to the Tonight Show. A majority of Leno’s viewing audience just followed him to the earlier time slot. What did NBC think would happen? In my opinion, Conan was given the Tonight Show so you shouldn’t take it away from him. NBC and Leno agreed to this experiment and now that it didn’t work they should simply cancel Leno’s show. The Tonight Show audience would improve once you do this. If they move Conan back then he should find another Network that will give him the creative freedom to do the show that he wants. He might even be good for Comedy Central. Cable would allow him to get away with more and bring back the Masturbating Bear.
How sad is it that the only snippets of this show I’ve seen since its inception are of Jay trashing the incompetence of the network. Jay has to be secretly kicking himself for agreeing to this cockamamie revamped situation where all three parties of himself, Conan, and the network have no chance of emerging unscathed. I know at this point this is a gross statement of the obvious but he really should’ve explored his options at ABC or FOX.
Ah, Karma is a funny, yet wonderful thing!!
NBC/Leno screw Letterman (Carson’s preferrred successor) out of The Tonight Show. O’Brien is Letterman’s chosen successor for Late Night.
Leno has his time in the Sun, but then NBC/O’Brien screw Leno out of the Tonight Show.
Leno fails miserably in Prime Time. Conan fails and almost kills The Tonight Show.
Meanwhile, Letterman and his follow-up, Craig Ferguson reap ratings gold.
Gotta love that Karma! It get’s you every time! BTW, in case you haven’t noticed, Ferguson’s show is the best thing on late-night tv…..
I’m about 30 years too young to be watching any late night talker, but it should be pointed out that the Tonight Show belonged to NBC, not Carson. It doesn’t matter who Carson wanted to succeed him, because he didn’t get to make that decision. That right belonged to the guys who owned the show.
And unless your name is David Letterman, being pissed off about it is weird and kind of nosy. Really even Letterman should get over it. He’s successful, rich, and respected. Time to let it go.
Leno’s a two-faced, cutthroat backstabber. Bill Carter was right all along in ‘The Late Shift’.
Right. Longtime NBC late night viewer here. Because of what they’re apparently doing to Conan, I will never watch the Leno Show again (in late night) and I encourage other lovers of Conan to join me. Actually, I encourage all those who love Conan or disapprove of dirty play and grotesque unfairness to join me.
Even if Conan is not your cup of tea, come on people. The no. 1 reason Conan’s ratings lag is because of the terrible lead in from Leno! And he’s had only 7 months. It’s so incredibly unfair that my family, and hopefully others, will never again tune in to a Jay Leno late night show. You can vote with your wallet and your Nielsen box.
Is there anyone with an IQ over 80 who can still stand this guy? As a former regular Leno watcher and Conan watcher, I can say without a doubt I will never, ever tune in to any Leno NBC late night show that displaces Conan, even if that displacement is only half an hour.
Conan, don’t you dare leave NBC. By staying and airing at 12:05 you screw Leno back. Walk away, and he wins. Force him into the half hour show, don’t give up the mothership. Gavin or whoever’s got Conan’s ear, don’t let him walk and let Leno get away with this.
On the subject of NBC, based on what I know about their pilots, I don’t think they’re going to turn this around anytime soon. The stuff I’ve heard, it sounds like Trauma redux. Although I gotta say 30 Rock rocks.
Remember, Leno up until he left the Tonight show last spring was #1 and was beating Letterman, ABC and FOX saw this and were interested, why wouldn’t they be? That worried NBC, so NBC hatched this plan.
Conan has done nothing except lose viewers. NBC tried to have both, they remind me of a little pig, well looks like the little pig just got shot in the ass.
Where have you been the past 4 months? The failure of The Leno Show was epic. There are no suitors now. why the hell else would Leno even entertain being the only late night host with a measly half hour?
I said Leno was #1 before he left for the 10pm slot meaning at 11:35, not the last 4 months at 10pm, and Conan sure isn’t #1 at 11:35
It’s interesting that NBC keeps putting together specific online clips of Jay trashing them.
I suspect they are trying to take some of the negative heat off of Leno by pushing this idea that he is a victim in all of this, just like Conan. NBC is happy to take the heat for this mess, but they can’t afford for Leno to look like that bad guy who screwed over Conan. They already went through that in 1992. So they allow Leno to zing them and position himself as a victim, too. NBC couldn’t care less.
In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that NBC asked Leno to go after them in his monologue, for those very reasons.
Interesting theory, but this is over-the-top. He sounds very bitter. And doing a half hour at 11:35 p.m., probably w/o guests, just a couple comedy things, is gonna be another losing proposition for old Jay.
Hey, old Jay, so you’re gonna do half an hour at 11:35. Then, in 18 months when your 2-year NBC commitment is up, we got through all this AGAIN. This will be what, the 4th or 5th-go-round for you? Including three in the past couple of years.
Man, give it a rest. Late Shift readers know you and your old manager forced Johnny Carson out of his job, now when someone does it to you, you keep fighting. OK, fight once. But 4 or 5 times? People are so incredibly tired of you and your whining, dude.
I’s so sick of the Leno thing and Conan…when Letterman retires in 2012 can Jay please just go away too? Is that what it takes for Jay to leave “gracefully”?
There is no such thing as bad publicity, ya think?!
It’s in NBC best interest to push the idea that Leno is a victim in all of this, just like Conan. NBC is more than happy to take the heat for this mess, but they can’t afford for Leno to be seen as the bad guy who screwed over Conan. They already went through that in 1992. The more Leno zings them, the more he repositions himself as just another victim of NBC’s mismanagement, not someone who shrewdly maneuvered his way back into his old timeslot. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that NBC asked Leno to attack them in his monologues, for those very reasons.
The amazing thing is that Jeff Zucker hasn’t been fired yet. He has savaged a great network and humiliated two terrific performers with his brain-dead shenanigans. Greedy, short-sighted morons like Zucker just want so badly to live in a world of all-reality TV, not only because it is cheaper but because finding and presenting good series television is above their skill level.
Let Conan flee to Fox or ABC. Jay Leno will throttle him at 11:35 anyway.
We’ve had this meme beaten into us for years that Conan is huge among the college crowd and 20-something hipsters. Though I recently crossed the 30 threshold (the supposed demo that Conan doesn’t appeal to), I don’t recall much adoration among my wide circle for Conan during my college and post-college vagabond years. It’s not that there was disdain for Conan, it was “meh, he’s okay”. We were mostly into Adult Swim and the Comedy Central block of Jon Stewart and (more recently) Stephen Colbert along with the 12AM showing of “South Park”.
So if I were NBC, I’d let Conan walk. His popularity has been greatly exaggerated and he mostly rode on Jay’s coattails.
Hugh Grant saved Leno back whenever.
Maybe Tiger Woods can save him now.
I’ll tell you why NBC stuck with Conan. Zucker put his personal pride ahead of the network.
At the time the deal with Conan was struck, it seemed like a poor decision to me but nobody knew what the climate would be like when it was 2009. But as the time neared, it was obvious to everyone – including Zucker I imagine – that is was a terrible idea to get rid of Leno at 11:35.
So why did he go through with it?
Because Jeff doesn’t like to break his word. And he wasn’t going to tell Conan to take his $40 million dollar penalty and say “sorry kid.” That’s what tough business decisions are sometimes. People get bruised. But Jeff Zucker puts his own personal beliefs ahead of everything. He knew this was probably going to happen. He just couldn’t tell Conan to take a hike. Now of course the situation is 10 times worse but that’s Jeff.
Ironically, this whole situation may finally give Leno the ratings boost he needs.
Not if the ratings for his prime time show the past 2 nights are an indication. The day the story broke Leno had his lowest Thursday yet. I think people are very sick and fed up with Leno and the whole backstabbing, backroom undercutting thing.
If we can’t get rid of Jeff Zucker can we get rid of the GE and Comcast executives who are backing him up?
Brilliant clip from a cutting edge comic mind. So so very funny. How can NBC let a major talent like this go.
“I still haven’t unpacked from the LAST time they canceled us.”???
What a punk bitch.
Nobody canceled you, Jay. You made a promise, remember?
Sure, hold NBC to its promises. But come on down off the cross, eh buddy?
And why even mention his first “joke.” What an ass.
The shot at Letterman reveals Leno’s true character and is why he shall be shunned in any comeback.
I want to be President of NBC because it is the one job you can continuously fuck up, lose millions of dollars, make your network an industry joke and still keep your job.
Not just Jay beating up on NBC..Conan O’Brien had his fun with the rumors too. Jeff Zucker’s head must be spinning over these two having fun at his expense. Even Jay and his guest Brian Willliams talked about on the Leno show. But both comedian had a feild day with the rumors.
It’s going to be interesting how this plays out. Especially with the tv affialtes who have the issues. In closing I saw Jay Leno in person when he preformed here ten years ago and he sold out the house and I was laughing til my eyes watered.
Okay, is it just me or is Leno’s style just a comedic rhythm that’s devoid of actual humor?
Is LOPEZ TONIGHT a threat to any late night show. I haven’t how his show is doing. They have been showing a lot of re-runs lately.
Honestly, I think Leno and Conan should both leave nbc; they’ve both been treated like crap by the network. That would be a nice bit of justice.
Self-deprecation is one thing; it’s always funny in doses.
However, repeatedly trashing your network, on-air, that kept you in a job after it clearly didn’t want you running the show any longer (whether that was a good or bad decision), is a move that deserves to get you FIRED (eventual grounds for breaking the contract commitment?).
Most of the average viewing audience wouldn’t notice that NBC is in such a bad place, if Jay Leno didn’t constantly remind them.
(Of course, you could argue that they aren’t noticing, because many of them simply aren’t watching the network).
Putting Leno on at 11:35 PM followed by Conan at 12:05 AM?
That’s another great idea, Zucker!
I can watch Jay’s monolouge and then turn the channel when Conan comes on…