When NBC announced they would be moving Jay Leno to 11:35, I heard a strange rumbling sound. I finally realized it was the sound of Johnny Carson rolling over in his grave. NBC was moving his beloved Tonight Show to save the career of the man that pushed him out and then failed miserably in prime time.
NBC has not learned from its own history. Letterman trounced Jay when they first went head to head. They gave him time to recover. Leno even had the advantage of a powerhouse primetime line-up. Conan had the last place line-up leading into his show, made worse by Leno’s own dismal ratings. So what does NBC think the solution is? Move Leno back to late night.
The obvious solution is much simpler. Cancel The Jay Leno show. Done. Don’t mess with late-night because that’s not where the problem is. Get rid of Leno and fix primetime.
Leno has shown his true colors as nothing more than a whining child. He was upset that he was forced out of the Tonight Show. He didn’t mind when he did it to Johnny Carson, but how dare they do it to him, a much less deserving, much less talented, and much less classy personality than Carson ever was. Suck it up, Leno. You’re done.
His dismal ratings and self-pitying temper tantrums have put the nail in his coffin. He’s not getting his viewers back when he moves to late night. They’ve moved on to greener pastures. It’s time Leno did too.
The amazing part of the whole NBC debacle is that the only one truly being penalized is Conan O’Brien, the one person who had nothing to do with it. Leno isn’t being penalized for failing to bring in an audience. Jeff Zucker isn’t being penalized for failing miserably across the entire primetime schedule. But Conan is being asked to take the hit. Here’s a better idea. Fire Leno for failing to bring in an audience, which is his job. Fire the programming executives, all the way up to Jeff Zucker, who took NBC rating’s to the bottom of the barrel. Then start over. Sports franchises go into rebuilding phases all the time. It’s time for NBC to do the same.
Leave the Tonight SHow at 11:35. Just cancel the show with the dismal ratings.
MediaConnection is asking its readers to stand up and be counted on the state of late night television. NBC is planning to give Conan O’Brien the shaft and take the Tonight Show out of the spot it has occupied since September, 1954. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and tell them to cancel The Jay Leno Show without reshuffling its late night schedule. Thank you for your help in showing a corporate giant that history and tradition have value.