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.
December 10, 2008
NBC sets self up for big things in talk show realm