Life in the Slow Lane

December 10, 2008

NBC sets self up for big things in talk show realm

Filed under: Television — pauljlane @ 12:19 pm

I am back from an extended vacation, so I apologize to my regular readers for the lack of new posts (hi, honey; hey, Bill; hello, Mar).
I was as surprised as anyone to find out that Jay Leno will stay at NBC. Having been rumored to bolt to another network once his “The Tonight Show” gig ends in the spring, NBC announced this week that Leno will instead stay on The Peacock and do a 10 p.m. weeknight show.
Pure genius all the way around.
NBC gets to bolster its 10 p.m. lineup, which aside from the “Law & Order” shows has nothing to offer. NBC also keeps Leno away from its rival networks looking to draw viewers from NBC’s top-rated late night lineup, and it has five timeslots filled a week at a far cheaper rate than by making clunker series such as “Lipstick Jungle.”
With Leno still leading the way for Conan O’Brian, who will take over “The Tonight Show,” NBC figures to lengthen its lead over CBS’ “Late Show with David Letterman,” which has been behind Leno for years and looks to drop back more as younger viewers are more likely to relate to O’Brian.
And love or hate Jimmy Fallon, one has to figure that he will at least initially renew interest in the “Late Night” franchise when he takes O’Brian’s seat there.
I’ve always been a Letterman guy, but even I have to admit that he, ABC’s “Nightline” and all other comers will have a tough time denting the armor that fourth-place NBC has suddenly built for itself.



  1. I am waiting for them to announce that, based on ratings research, they have decided to re-run the first hour of the Superbowl every night at 9:00.

    Comment by Cris Cohen — December 10, 2008 @ 5:47 pm | Reply

  2. Paul,

    Great site to check out is if you don’t already check it out already.
    Being a TV addict, I am disgusted by NBC’s decision. It looks like a lot of their great scripted shows like “Chuck,” “Life”and even the beloved “Law and Order” franchise are going to be on the chopping block to accommodate this move. I think Leno at 10pm is going to be a bust (look at Fox’s 10pm newscast ratings for proof). People are accustomed to scripted TV at the 10PM hour. Late Night talk shows are a whole different beast. People are banking on Leno’s popularity to pull in the viewers. I don’t see it happening. You can’t bank on him carrying 23% of your primetime.

    NBC lacks a show that provides the face of the network. Fox has Idol, CBS has CSI, ABC has Lost and Greys. Shows that they bank on to carry them to the bank. NBC relies on The Office, Heroes and Biggest Loser for its biggest ratings in the key demographics each week. It lacks the ratings losers that other channels have (if you conveniently ignore the ill-advise “Kath and Kim”)…but doesn’t have a clear ratings winner.

    I just am so upset about this. Quality TV always gets the axe first (such as ABC’s “Pushing Daisies” and “Eli Stone”) so people can get their fill of Crime Dramas and Game Shows.

    Enjoy the New NBC….Nothing But Crap….Leno, Biggest Loser, Deal or No Deal, and the Apprentice. I think we can officially put NBC in the same category as the CW and Univision.

    Comment by Bill — December 10, 2008 @ 11:04 pm | Reply

  3. A comment came about in the office Wednesday while discussing this issue that sums it up best: I don’t like Leno, but people do.

    Comment by pauljlane — December 11, 2008 @ 11:29 am | Reply

  4. […] Do you think Conan can do as well an hour earlier? And what of Jay Leno’s move to prime time (which I think is a brilliant move, cuz people love […]

    Pingback by Heavy hittes give Fallon early late-night boost « Life in the Slow Lane — February 19, 2009 @ 11:46 am | Reply

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