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Report: Leno May Jump to Fox


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#1 of 29 OFFLINE   Chris Lockwood

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Posted March 06 2007 - 04:31 AM

I don't know how accurate this is, but there's speculation that Jay Leno may be interested in hosting a late-night show at Fox after his run on NBC ends in 2009.

http://www.newsmax.c....mo_code=2EAB-1


I'm surprised, since when the announcement was made about Conan replacing him in 2009, I thought that was because Jay had decided to retire then. He's consistently #1 in his time slot, so why would NBC want to push him aside, which this report implies?

He'll have 17 years on the job by then, & will be almost 60, so I always thought he just decided that was a long enough run on the job. If I were NBC I'd want to keep him as long as he's doing well in the ratings.

#2 of 29 OFFLINE   streeter

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Posted March 06 2007 - 05:22 AM

This whole situation is fascinating. I don't buy it...
I thought that Leno had decided to retire in 2009, too. In fact, in the press releases at the time, Leno commented about being happy about leaving in 2009 and that he's glad to hand over the reign to Conan.
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#3 of 29 OFFLINE   Marty M

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Posted March 06 2007 - 05:44 AM

The only thing I can think of is that NBC forced this on Leno to try to keep Conan happy. IIRC, Conan was close to signing with ABC for a talk show.
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#4 of 29 OFFLINE   Jason Seaver

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Posted March 06 2007 - 05:45 AM

Well, that was a year or two ago. Plenty of time for the idea of doing nothing or getting back on the stand-up circuit to start to terrify him. And maybe what he's allegedly talking to Fox about is different from the standard late-night talk show template or would be a lighter workload (1-2 days/week).
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#5 of 29 OFFLINE   Kelly W

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Posted March 07 2007 - 02:13 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty M
The only thing I can think of is that NBC forced this on Leno to try to keep Conan happy. IIRC, Conan was close to signing with ABC for a talk show.
Although I don't recall an ABC deal, this is how I remember it. The date was set in order to make Conan happy. They gave him the carrot at the end of the stick (the Tonight Show) in order to be sure he stuck around. Of course, I wasn't there, but I think this is what was reported in the media. Posted Image

#6 of 29 OFFLINE   Andrew Grall

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Posted March 07 2007 - 05:32 AM

Why is it a surprise to anyone that NBC may be screwing one of their late night hosts? Isn't this old news?

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#7 of 29 OFFLINE   Chris Lockwood

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Posted March 07 2007 - 05:38 AM

> Why is it a surprise to anyone that NBC may be screwing one of their late night hosts?

For me, I'm surprised to hear the possibility that this arrangement was something other than what Jay wanted.

Considering how he dominates the time slot, it makes no sense to me to push him aside to make Conan happy. Nothing against Conan, but Jay is the bigger cash cow right now, and nobody knows how Conan will do in that time slot.

#8 of 29 OFFLINE   Kelly W

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Posted March 07 2007 - 07:43 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Lockwood
Considering how he dominates the time slot, it makes no sense to me to push him aside to make Conan happy. Nothing against Conan, but Jay is the bigger cash cow right now, and nobody knows how Conan will do in that time slot.
I actually don't really like Jay Leno-- I think David Letterman is much funnier and more clever. I'm amazed that The Tonight Show does so well in the ratings.

Do you think Jay Leno is personally responsible for this? Does he deserve the credit for the show's success?

Perhaps the show does well due to the legacy of the "Tonight Show" name? Or perhaps NBC programming/local affiliate news lead-ins make viewers stick around? I wonder how many people are watching because Jay Leno is the host.

While I'm not enamored with Conan, I think that the ratings might actually improve when he takes over.

#9 of 29 OFFLINE   Ken Chan

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Posted March 07 2007 - 08:06 AM

Quote:
Do you think Jay Leno is personally responsible for this? Does he deserve the credit for the show's success?
He would certainly get the blame if the show did poorly. So I would say yes and yes. More Americans prefer Leno than Letterman.

Last I heard, CBS gets better primetime ratings than NBC, although CBS skews older. Maybe they've all gone to sleep by 11:30.

#10 of 29 OFFLINE   Chris Lockwood

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Posted March 07 2007 - 08:24 AM

> Do you think Jay Leno is personally responsible for this? Does he deserve the credit for the show's success?

Yes, duh. I wouldn't watch the show if I didn't like him, and I suspect that's true of many viewers. It's not like there aren't other choices.

The millions NBC pays him makes me think they agree with me- if they could replace him with Joe Nobody, who makes 100K a year, & still attract the same audience, why wouldn't they?

#11 of 29 OFFLINE   ThomasC

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Posted March 07 2007 - 08:34 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly W
I actually don't really like Jay Leno-- I think David Letterman is much funnier and more clever. I'm amazed that The Tonight Show does so well in the ratings.
I don't really care for Leno or Letterman. Conan is the only show I watch regularly; if it's a rerun, Craig Ferguson is a nice alternative. My cousin (who is about the same age as me) doesn't like Conan but likes Leno. It's something I can't really get a grasp on, but that's just the way it is.

#12 of 29 OFFLINE   Brent M

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Posted March 07 2007 - 09:03 AM

I have always been a die-hard Letterman guy since the early days at NBC and for many years he was the undisputed KING of late night(even if the ratings didn't support that claim). In recent years, however, his show has become very old and stale making it almost difficult to watch at times. In my mind there's no doubt that Conan is the best late night host out there right now and the sooner NBC gets him in Leno's time slot the better. I've never thought Leno was very good and I think he ripped off a lot of his material from Letterman. Conan, however, is edgy and innovative with a better show than Leno, Letterman and Craig Ferguson combined IMHO.
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#13 of 29 OFFLINE   Holadem

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Posted March 07 2007 - 10:11 AM

I watch none of these shows regularly, but I am always surprised at the Leno hate, to the point where a poster wants to credit anything but him for the shows success... included the name of the show? Geez.... if after 17 years on the gig, Leno isn't earning his #1 on his own merrit... when would it be OK to credit him then? The longest running show in the world will tank in a heartbeat when it ceases to deliver. Obviously Leno must be doing something right.

Others may be cleverer and wittier (I am not sold on this), but Leno is the only who looks like a freaking clown, and that counts for a lot (see Seinfeld. I wanna laugh just looking at these guys). Lesser jokes are funnier because he delivers them.

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#14 of 29 OFFLINE   Brent M

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Posted March 07 2007 - 12:26 PM

As I said before, I think Leno has stolen a lot of the segments he does from Letterman. The only thing Leno has ever really been able to do well is tell jokes and I give him credit for being a good stand-up comedian. His interviewing skills are awful, though, and overall I just don't find his show to be very entertaining. Honestly, I still can't figure out why he has done so well in the ratings over the years(especially in the mid-90's to early 2000's when Letterman's show was light years ahead of The Tonight Show), but then again I also don't understand why 35 million people a week watch American Idol. Different strokes I guess?
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#15 of 29 OFFLINE   Chris

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Posted March 07 2007 - 01:28 PM

I do have big problems with Leno stealing bits. And it's not just Letterman he's stolen bits from, hell, he's taken bits from Conan, and others. He basically turned a Ron White sketch into a bit. I don't listen enough, but there are a ton of radio hosts who claim he's stolen bits..

I don't "hate" Leno. I really dislike his kissy-kissy interview style. I admit, when Letterman first kicked over to CBS, his show was so dominant it was not funny. Cutting interviews with Madonna and others where he pressed them, played hard ball.

That's what I really liked about Conan originally and he's kept with it somewhat, I remember the first season of Conan where Robert Ulrich would stand up in the audience and ridicule the guest "deep down inside, when you're home alone.. does it hurt? Do you feel the pain of no one caring what you do or say?" Posted Image Those were gerat sketches.

Leno's interview skills are bad. But, he runs a quick paced show with not a lot of downtime. So, even though the interviews tell you absolutely nothing, they are less likely to produce cringe-worthy moments or really uncomfortable moments as can happen on Letterman. Then again, that's part of why I love Dave. But Dave's show has been on "coast" for a while, and too many big name guests just won't show. That's what has hurt Letterman more then anything else - and I think it shows. The night that Kramer came on and tried to apologize to people after his tirade in Vegas was unintentionally funny.. and a GREAT GREAT Letterman moment. And his ratings showed it.

But Dave isn't booking the big name guests. That's part of the issue Conan will run into if he did what Dave has done and stay in NY instead of moving to LA. It's sad, but Jay just has better access, especially to TV show guests, during the regular season when they don't have to fly across country to do his show.

I like Dave's show. I think there are moments that he has a big "miss" but when it's a slam-dunk it's a home run. Think of it this way: Leno's show is a continuous, decent, fair produced show that is like a hitter who always gets a single or a double, rarely strikes out and rarely hits a home run. Letterman is like a slugger who hits a lot of home runs, but also strikes out far more then he should, and doesn't often hit a single.

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#16 of 29 OFFLINE   Nelson Au

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Posted March 07 2007 - 02:36 PM

Just my 2 cents, I am a Letterman watcher. I tried to watch Leno a few times. He just isn't funny to me. Jokes seem so obvious. I was always curious why he's number one.

Is it the brand, or the Johnny Carson effect? To me Leno is safe jokes and perhaps that gives him more mainstream appeal.

I think they probably all stole from Carson, Letterman very much respected Carson and freely admits he stole from him and even tells the story of how Carson took him under his wing and helped him and gave him gags to use after he retired.

#17 of 29 OFFLINE   Ray H

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Posted March 07 2007 - 03:00 PM

A late night show on Fox? They don't even go past 10 pm!
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#18 of 29 OFFLINE   Brian W.

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Posted March 07 2007 - 03:13 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly W
Do you think Jay Leno is personally responsible for this? Does he deserve the credit for the show's success?

Perhaps the show does well due to the legacy of the "Tonight Show" name?

Absolutely Jay Leno is responsible, because, if you'll recall, as soon as Letterman moved to CBS, Jay's ratings slipped and Letterman's show was on top. NBC seriously considered firing him and replacing him with Letterman. A book was written detailing the whole situation, but I can't remember the title (there was a later TV movie about it).

After this, Leno seemed to take an "I don't give a damn" attitude and stopped trying to be Johnny Carson, which I believe is why the ratings improved: we were finally seeing Jay Leno's Tonight Show. Things helped when he got rid of that awful Branford Marsalis, who may be a great musician but was a horrific co-host. Kevin Eubanks is much, much better -- at least he has a personality.

Jay soon turned the brief Letterman advantage around, and he has prevailed in the ratings ever since. So, yes, he is responsible.

#19 of 29 OFFLINE   Chris

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Posted March 07 2007 - 03:28 PM

The book is "The Late Shift" and it's a must read. The HBO movie is pretty good, too.
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#20 of 29 OFFLINE   Brian W.

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Posted March 07 2007 - 03:35 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris
The book is "The Late Shift" and it's a must read. The HBO movie is pretty good, too.

Yeah, that's it. The whole Helen Kushnick story was riveting, and sad. I've always thought it was too bad that (at least, I heard) Leno didn't even go to her funeral.


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