“The Jay Leno Show” has been given its walking papers (sort of) out of its ten o’clock primetime spot by the peacock network. Last week there was plenty of bad blood brewing between Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien and NBC, and over the weekend a major move was made. According to THR, NBC has pulled the plug on Leno’s show.
NBC Universal TV Entertainment chairman Jeff Gaspin confirmed Sunday that the network wants to get “back to basics.” That means scripted television at 10 pm, and late night talk shows after 11:30 pm. Even though this might sound like a breath of fresh air for those of you who wanted Leno out, he’s not gone yet. His show will stop airing in the 10 pm slot as of February 12th, but the network still wants him in their late night lineup.
Gaspin stated, “While it was performing at acceptable levels, it did not meet our affiliates’ needs. My goal right now is to keep Jay [Leno], Conan [O'Brien] and Jimmy [Fallon] as part of our late-night lineup. As much as I’d like to tell you we have a done deal, we know that’s not true.”
At the moment their plan is to have Leno do a half an hour show at 11:35 pm, followed by an hour long Conan and Jimmy Fallon. This idea sounds ridiculous considering how much time Jay’s monologue takes up, and his various skits. How will he fit in a guest? What about musical acts? Will they even be featured? The plan was to give the host one year to grow some legs and find his audience, but Gaspin says they couldn’t stick it out due to affiliate concerns.
“I would have liked nothing more than to give this a 52-week try, Gaspin said. Affiliates started calling, saying local news was being impacted more than expected. In some cases, they had the No. 1 news show, and now they were No. 3. his was not an issue for the network; it was an issue for our affiliates, he said. We were making money at 10 p.m. I think over time [Leno show ratings] might have started to grow. For the network, it was not yet a wrong decision.”
It sounds like NBC is throwing their affiliates under the bus for their poor decisions. I’ve never watched a single episode of “The Jay Leno Show” but I have watched Conan, and Fallon. This wouldn’t have turned into such a big mess if NBC and Leno both severed ties at the end of his “Tonight Show” run. This whole thing has turned into unnecessary drama that’s having a negative impact on all the network’s shows. This is just one of the many reason’s why NBC is number 4 in the ratings.
What do you think NBC should do with Leno, O’Brien, and Fallon? Do you blame the network or Leno?