A month ago, Your Humble Scribe posted the following in Another Place…
At the time of writing this, The Monkey has just ten weeks left in the Oval Office (although with a Democratic Senate and House Of Representatives, his only use now is to show Barack where the secret door to the Executive Bathroom is) which will sadden few people.
Also, Dead-eye Dick Cheney will pass into history as the only sitting VP to SHOOT someone for a couple of hundred years.
But a few weeks after, will spell the end of the line for Jay Leno on the Tonight Show – and this historian for one will mourn his passing. Okay, he’s not DYING – he’s RICH and will ALWAYS enjoy high paying gigs – but “Leno”, like “Carson” will slip from the vocabulary.
Conan O’ Brien is a good, competent host and I’m sure he’ll hold it together – but he’s no Leno. Even Leno was no Carson, but after fifteen years of clinging to his job by his fingernails – he never DARED to take a holiday – he’s just about PEAKED now.
And so NBC are CANNING him. They’ll – be – sor-ry. And so shall we…
WELL, READER – it appears they WERE SOR-RY!!!
But their response was to pull a blinder – and this writer has to take his hat off to what they’ve done! Yesterday, they announced they WOULD still be giving Conan O’Brien the Leno spot on The Tonight Show – but in September, they’ll be giving Leno a NEW SHOW…in PRIMETIME.
History: In My Day (the ’60s) America had three national networks – all of which had developed from RADIO networks – CBS (the Columbia Broadcasting System) NBC (National Broadcasting Company) and ABC (American Broad- casting Company). And in those days, CBS and NBC were about joint Number One, with ABC bringing up the rear.
But fortunes change. And now, CBS is about joint Number One with ABC, AND the upstart Fox – with the once great NBC bringing up the rear.
So what the Peacock Boys have done is VERY cute. Knowing they’re getting KILLED in Primetime – and the fact that Leno might WELL have been wooed by a rival (probably ABC) they have invented a NEW Primetime show – The Jay Leno Show (which will STILL be ahead of O’Brien, who says he likes to follow Leno – but he must be smarting a BIT!)
And this is TRIPLY cute, since (1) chat shows are CHEAP to mount – the guests are all SELLING stuff and only get $500 appearance money (2) Leno’s POPULAR and will HURT the rival networks’ drama ratings (3) chat shows are TOPICAL – meaning most people watch ’em LIVE – not on VCRs, Tivos, PVRs., DVRs or DVD-Rs – which means advertisers will pay MORE for their slots, knowing audiences won’t fast-forward through their crap!
So, a coup by the chaps at 30 Rock! And a break for Leno, who during his fifteen years on The Tonight Show has had to endure a lotta crap. Good luck to him, I say!