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Thread: The Tonight Show - NBC (formerly The Jay Leno Show)

  1. #151
    FORT Fogey
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    Re: Jay Leno's New Show

    Well, I read that NBC gave him some notes on how to improve things and he ignored them. I bet back when Jay wasn't number one, NBC could probably afford to lose late night. They can't compete in prime time. It is just not doing well for them. Late night is more meaningful to them now compared to better times. I wasn't old enough to watch late night when Jay first started. So I'm just hypothesizing. Sounds plausible...

  2. #152
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    Re: Jay Leno's New Show

    I'm old enough to remember that Hugh Grant debacle (ugh scary that I remember it). Jay wasn't that great for along time. And he didn't really appeal to key demographics. Conan couldn't do anything to save himself. With Jay leading into local news casts 5 days a week and people moving away from Jay en masse what was Conan supposed to do? Let's face it NBC's line up in general as a lead in sucks. There's no way Conan alone could have saved those ratings.

  3. #153
    Fool... but no pity. Krom's Avatar
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    Re: Jay Leno's New Show

    Quote Originally Posted by Fierce Critter;3798637;
    I'm not all that sure how Conan could have done anything?

    I don't know if (the collective) you remember, but Leno didn't do so hot for a while when he started on TTN. It wasn't until he had Hugh Grant on (who apologized for being arrested with a hooker) that his ratings surpassed Letterman's and stayed that way. Leno got reeeeeeeally lucky with that.
    NBC in fact gave him THREE YEARS to get his ratings up when he started on Tonight.

    Its why these comparisons between Jay's ratings and Conan's are B.S. Jay was in a much deeper hole when he was in Conan's position AND he had a.) far better lead ins (hit shows like ER) b.) less Late Night competition (Letterman was off the air until more than a year after Leno started TTS, and there was no real "third horse" like Jimmy Kimmel--Arsenio Hall was on at the time but was already in his last gasp).

    "You don't rehearse Mr. T, you just turn him loose."
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  4. #154
    FORT Fogey Miss_Griss's Avatar
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    Re: Jay Leno's New Show

    Quote Originally Posted by Krom;3798786;
    NBC in fact gave him THREE YEARS to get his ratings up when he started on Tonight.

    Its why these comparisons between Jay's ratings and Conan's are B.S. Jay was in a much deeper hole when he was in Conan's position AND he had a.) far better lead ins (hit shows like ER) b.) less Late Night competition (Letterman was off the air until more than a year after Leno started TTS, and there was no real "third horse" like Jimmy Kimmel--Arsenio Hall was on at the time but was already in his last gasp).
    I thought Arsenio and Jay started their shows at about the same time, and good ol' Jay pretty much sunk Arsenio's ship by making guests choose which show they would be on--as in "If you go on Arsenio, you're not doing the Tonight Show!"
    Seeking form amidst the void.

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  5. #155
    Fool... but no pity. Krom's Avatar
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    Re: Jay Leno's New Show

    I believe you are right that Jay helped bury Arsenio (with his playbook of dirty tricks, later blamed on Helen Kushnick--which is a load of crap--Jay knew about it).

    But The Arsenio Hall Show premiered in January of 1989. The Tonight Show with Mr. Chin premiered May 25, 1992. Arsensio had a three year and several months jump on Leno, but was already starting to slide (he held out until May of 1994, after Dave Letterman joined the fray and that put the last nail in).

    Letterman's Late Show premiered on August 30, 1993, by the way, so Jay had a 15 month head start.

    "You don't rehearse Mr. T, you just turn him loose."
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  6. #156
    Bitten Critical's Avatar
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    Re: Jay Leno's New Show

    I'd buy Leno's "Poor me. NBC is evil" routine a bit more if he hadn't been openly campaigning to get his old job back practically before he left TTS. Would NBC have pounced on the idea of replacing Conan if Leno hadn't been so vocal about wanting the job back? I just don't think so. He can talk faux smack about how NBC sucks all he wants, but I hardly see how he's the victim in this. He's getting the job back, which is what he wanted and I'm sure he's getting a hefty contract along with it. Those "jokes" just seem a bit hollow to me.

    Whatever happens, I think Conan made some fans, both because of the way he's handled this situation and as a backlash against Leno. I'm sure Leno will lose some fans over this too.

    Best joke of the week goes to "Weekend Update" on SNL tonight:
    "This week, you didn't need Cinemax to see someone get screwed on TV"
    Last edited by Critical; 01-17-2010 at 03:29 AM.
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  7. #157
    Kiz
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    Re: Jay Leno's New Show

    NBC couldn't have hardly handled the situation any less professionally. So, out of the three, NBC, Jay, and Conan, I hold NBC in most contempt...just slightly more than Jay (after reading this article).

    I couldn't remember the circumstances about Jay's retirement - whether it was just floated by NBC or if Jay had acknowledged it. Reading this old CNN article from 2004, I'm totally in the camp that Jay should have taken the ratings disaster at 10:00 in the chin (), and not actively sought the 11:35 time slot after Conan took over.

    snip..."In 2009, I'll be 59 years old and will have had this dream job for 17 years," Leno said in NBC's written statement. "I felt that the timing was right to plan for my successor and there is no one more qualified than Conan."

    "Plus, I promised Mavis (his wife) I would take her out for dinner before I turned 60," Leno said.

    O'Brien, 41, has signed a contract to stay in his current job at 12:30 a.m. ET for the next five years and then take over the top-rated late-night show when Leno retires...snip
    CNN.com - O'Brien to replace Leno on 'The Tonight Show' - Sep 27, 2004

    A touch of irony from the CNN article:

    The early announcement avoids a replay of the early 1990s, when the retirement of veteran host Johnny Carson touched off a behind-the-scenes battle between Leno and then- "Late Night" host David Letterman over who would be Carson's successor.
    You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style. ~Humbert

  8. #158
    Living Vicariously via RT Fierce Critter's Avatar
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    Re: Jay Leno's New Show

    OT I always had the feeling that Johnny didn't go to bat for Dave because he knew he was strong enough to stand on his own - which he has - and didn't need the glory of "The Tonight Show" to succeed.

    But maybe I'm more naive about all things showbiz than I should be. Shrug.

  9. #159
    2 heads are better than 1 MrMet's Avatar
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    Re: Jay Leno's New Show

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucky22;3798494;
    I remember in '04 when Leno announced on the show that he was going to leave in '09, because at that point it would be 17 years for him on the show and he would like to do other things, and that O'Brien would take over the Tonight Show at that time. So how is that NBC lying to O'Brien? Not saying Leno was lying, but I don't see that anyone was lying at the time. NBC is just trying to pull itself out of ratings hell with both the 10 p.m. slot and the Tonight Show tanking.
    At the time that Leno made that announcement, it was not of his choosing. NBC needed to promise Conan the Tonight Show in order to keep him at NBC. So Jay was asked to agree to the 5 year timeline to help the network, and he did. When you compare the situation 5 years ago to the situation now, there's quite a bit in common between O'Brien and Leno.

    5 years ago, Leno was being asked to step aside to make room for Conan. Now, Conan is being asked to move over for Leno.

    Years before that, Leno maneuvered and manipulated behind the scenes to get Carson out of the way, and ensure he'd get the Tonight Show. Then, in 2004, O'Brien maneuvered and manipulated behind the scenes to get Leno out of the way.

    Now, as was mentioned upthread, Leno is going on air claiming to be a victim in order to illicit sympathy. O'Brien is doing the same.

    Perhaps Leno should not be surprised by any of this, because it seems like O'Brien is playing from the Jay Leno play book. But then again, if one is going to be blasted for the behavior, perhaps the other should as well.

    One thing is for sure - Leno should be thanking his lucky stars that when Johnny Carson was the one heading out, he was at a more realistic retirement age, and was content and happy to step completely out of the public eye.

  10. #160
    Kiz
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    Re: Jay Leno's New Show

    ^MrMet, how do you know Conan maneuvered and manipulated behind the scenes to get Jay out of the way? From the looks of things, I would say five years ago Conan made a commitment to stay with NBC late late night only if The Tonight Show was his next move at the end of five years. Nothing wrong with that. NBC could have said we can't make that kind of promise, and Jay could have said I'm not all that sure I'm going to retire in five years. Given that, Conan could have chosen to ride it out or moved on to greener pastures. Behind the scenes, I would have to believe, although I can't say for certain, of course, that Jay had much more leverage than Conan. I don't see how Conan could have orchestrated such a coupe against Jay.
    You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style. ~Humbert

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