It may be late but I want to weigh in on the Leno/Conan debacle. Could somebody please just fire Jeff Zucker. I mean seriously. The man has driven this once proud network completely into the ground, so much so that GE couldn't wait to unload it to Comcast.
Zucker is a prime example of what happens when bean counters run television stations. Everything turns to shit. This has been happening at the local level for the last 15 years and now we get to see it happen at the network level. Sure Leno was a hell of a lot cheaper to produce than an hour drama. But Zucker and his cronies never stopped to consider all of the other fallout from such a foolish programming decision.
Leno killed the late night local news. That in turn deflated the ratings for "The Tonight Show" and digging deeper, I wonder how big an impact this is having on morning news ratings at NBC stations across the country? People tend to turn on and watch the channel they had on when they went to bed. Even a ten percent hit hurts those local morning shows and in turn "The Today Show."
Then the boneheads at NBC decide to move Leno back to 11:35. Leno failed and he gets rewarded with his old slot. Conan is right to be pissed. Dick Ebersole is an asswipe for even opening his mouth on this subject. Everyone knows the only reason Leno got "The Tonight Show" in the first place was because he kissed the ass of every GM at every NBC station in the United States and completely brownnosed the corporate clowns at the network. Letterman wouldn't play that game and it cost him.
Conan is cut from the Letterman mold of comedy. He's irreverant, creative, and goes outside the box, something Leno rarely did. And that gets us to the demos. Leno skews old. Why wouldn't NBC want to keep Conan and his younger viewers? Everything I've ever learned in television was its all about the demos. I guess its a lessons a bean counter never learns.