Saturday, January 09, 2010

Leno on a little later

It seems like what used to be whispers about some prime-time unhappiness are now turning into much louder talks about a prime-time to late-night shakeup for NBC and possibly others.

NBC didn't want to lose Conan O'Brien a few years to another network, so it promised him Jay Leno's "Tonight Show". But when Leno's deal ran out last year, it didn't want to lose Leno, especially to another network. So then NBC gave Leno his own prime-time show at 9pm central. Ratings sank a bunch compared to the other dramas NBC used to air in that time slot. Why does it matter? Because even in this world of remote controls, (I remember when I and my siblings were my dad's personal remote control) some people still watch at 10pm what they had been watching on the same channel at 9pm.

So if Leno's numbers tanked from the previous 9pm shows, it meant a lot fewer people were staying tuned for the 10pm news on NBC stations. And that show needs to make a lot of money for local stations. So a 30% hit to those news ratings, as some stations have claimed, means a major loss of cash.

What should NBC do about all of this? There's growing speculation, that after the Olympics, NBC will move Leno back to his original time slot at 10:30 central. He'll only do a half-hour show this time and then have Conan come on after him at 11pm. Presumably, NBC will then re-program the 9pm hour with dramas that more people would watch. This would seem to be quite a meal of eating crow, or peacock, for NBC. Stay tuned.

What do you want to see happen? Do you watch Jay at 9pm? Do you watch Conan at 10:30? Do you want the shows back where they used to be? Do you even care what NBC does?


Julie QA said...

Don't / won't watch Leno no matter what time he's on. I was hoping he'd be phased out...he's abrasive yet boring.

Mikvogel said...

If the network suits were smart (and that's saying A LOT), they'd dump Jay, Bump Jimmy Fallon to 10:30 and push Conan back where he's comfortable after the Tonight Show.

Don't know if you're up late enough, but Jimmy's been impressive. He's got quality humor, a good interviewing style, and he's still new enough to the game that he's got a genuine enthusiasm for meeting the guests on the show and talking with him.