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The latest on Conan, Leno and NBC

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Diallo B, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    Dave's "Don't Blame Conan" bit.. hilarious stuff.



    God that TV Gawker bit is great stuff above "The Bit he stole from The Letterman Show, and the bit he stole from Howard Stern, and the bit he stole from.. all your favorites" ZING! I was -rolling-
     
  2. Robbie R

    Robbie R Stunt Coordinator

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    I fail to see how any of this mess is Jays fault. Here is a guy that had the highest rated late night talk show on television and had it pulled out from under him by a moronic decision in 2004, by NBC execs who where being squeezed by Conan & his agent to guarantee him "The Tonight Show" in 2009 or he would quit and go to another network.

    HOW IS THIS JAYS FAULT???? If anyone is to blame here it's CONAN!
     
  3. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    Robbie-
    That's really not what happened at all.

    In 2004, when Conan's contract came up, and he became the equivelent of a free agent, ABC made it clear that they would consider dumping/bumping Nightline if he would hop over, and they'd offer him 11:30.

    NBC executives made the counter offer: don't leave, and in 5 years, you'll have the tonight show.

    NBC executives did not want him to leave for that gig. It's that simple. And it's not Conan or his agent's fault that in 2004 ABC was willing to offer it to him, and he would have shitty representation if he didn't listen to the offer.


    NBC made the counter, and Jay agreed to it.
    None of that is in question by anyone, that's pretty well documented and Jay also laid out exactly that this week.

    Now, Jay came into 2009 and instead of retiring - which is fine, or going to another network, he signed on a new agreement with NBC to take over a primetime spot.
    The argument that people make is: if Jay was really unhappy, that was his chance in 2008 to say: "fine, Next year I'm out, my contract is up, I'm not going to renegotiate with these bastards at NBC, I'll walk across the street and go to ABC, and take the deal they wanted to give Conan". Trust me, ABC would have inked that deal... so would Fox.

    NBC made a bet, a bet that Jay would be interested in retirement in 2009 in 2004. And they did not want Conan to go to ABC at that time.
    Now, Conan may go to Fox.

    And again, in the longterm, I think Fox, if they do it, comes out way ahead. Jay will not stay on the tonight show forever. There is now no successor in the wings for that show. Conan will move to a younger/hip network, and he will have access directly to the talent on that networks programming which gives him instant access to better guests.

    I don't blame Jay or Conan, particularly.. though I think Jay had all the cards and could have gotten out at any time with a better deal.

    But NBC brass? Please. I could sit and throw darts at a board and do a better job of scheduling and programming support.

    NBC has wrecked their latenight for a long time to come. And that's all on them.
     
  4. Robbie R

    Robbie R Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Matt, that helps clear a few things up for me.
    I still don't get all the hate for Jay?
     
  5. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    I don't understand all the hate for Jay too. He seems to be portrayed as orchestrating all this. I've seen all his statements and I don't have reason to think he's lying or behind it. He's as much a pawn of NBC. I realize he wanted to keep the Tonight Show, but he seemed more like the good company man and did what they asked him to do.
     
  6. Sam Davatchi

    Sam Davatchi Producer

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    So anyway, is this Friday Conan's last show?
     
  7. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Because some people love to have a "us vs. them" situation. Hence all the silly Team Conan/Team Leno stuff.
     
  8. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    The reason Jay is not blameless in this is because he was supposed to ride off into the sunset in 2009. That's what he agreed to in 2004. It was because he wanted to keep working that NBC created this cockamamie Leno at 10 bullshit.

    "But", you say, "Jay didn't want to retire". Then goddamn say something! Instead, Leno reverted to his passive aggressive ways, agreeing with NBC in principle and then changing his mind when the time came. Because it was easier for him to say "yes" and then knowingly screw things up down the road than to say "no" and have to deal with the issue upfront.

    If the Jay Leno Show was such a shit-ass idea, then why did Leno agree to it? He knew it would be canceled before his guaranteed contract was over -- everyone knew that. But his contract ($100 mil) was bigger than Conan's ($40 mil). When push came to shove, it was obvious NBC was going to bump Conan. What did Jay do about this? Nothing. Does anyone think he didn't see this coming? The minute he took the 10 spot, it put the wheels in motion.

    It easy for Jay to say, "Don't blame me, I didn't do anything" because it's basically true. But doing nothing is exactly why everything happened. Essentially, Jay violated the First Law of Robotics -- "A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm."
     
  9. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Producer

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    Most people? Just a handful of Conan-obsessed people. I guess it's too hard to just admit the guy flopped miserably.

    The ignorance of the facts around here is just astounding. Jay hosted the show for 17 years and was #1 in the ratings for most of that time, including at the end.

    It was Conan who "took the show" from Jay, not the other way around. Conan drove the ratings into the toilet.

    Jay is not trying to "take the show" from Conan. All along, he's just done what the network (his employer) asked him to do. It wasn't his idea to leave late night or go in in prime time or go back to late night- all of those were requests he agreed to. He was told Conan was in agreement with him moving to 11:30 with Conan at 12.

    Conan is the one who is quitting, because he thinks he should be able to tell his employer when they can air his show, something no other performer I know of gets to do. If you can't see that he's quitting, you're just blind or dishonest about this. He wasn't asked to change a thing about his show. He could have kept doing the show he's doing right now. It's a shame to see how dishonest and ungrateful he's being about this.

    The network should never have made the deal back in 2004. I don't know of another case where a performer who was #1 in his time slot was pushed aside for someone else. Carson stayed on the air til he wanted to retire, and that's how it should have been with Jay, at least while he was getting good ratings.
     
  10. Brent M

    Brent M Producer

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    I don't dislike Leno because of an "us vs. them" mentality, I dislike him simply because I think he's a conniving, underhanded bastard. His nice guy act is a total facade and history shows that he will cut anyone off at the knees to get what he wants, especially people that were at one time good friends of his. He had the perfect opportunity to show some class in this whole situation by just saying he wouldn't take The Tonight Show back if it meant Conan losing his job. I mean, what the hell does he need with it anyway? He had the show for 17 years, he made hundreds of millions of dollars and he can perform comedy anywhere at any time. It's purely about ego and wanting to be in the limelight at this point and his behavior in all of this just shows what a scumbag he is.
     
  11. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Producer

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    Exactly.
     
  12. Brent M

    Brent M Producer

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    Originally Posted by Chris Lockwood
     
  13. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    I guess you haven't seen the ratings then. Conan is getting more viewers at 11:35 than Jay is getting at 10pm.

    Handful? Hardly.

    ETA: throw in Kimmel and Letterman viewers, and you have a veritable army.
     
  14. PatW

    PatW Screenwriter

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    You know, this whole thing is just plain silly. You've got Conan fans beating up on Leno fans and Leno fans doing likewise all on this thread. It's rather sad to see.
     
  15. Robbie R

    Robbie R Stunt Coordinator

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    Thats "Apples & Oranges"

    Lets put Conan on @ 11:35 on Fox up against Jay & Letterman, then we can talk about the ratings all day long.
     
  16. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    That wasn't actually the point of the post. Your rebuttal is in response to something entirely in your head.
     
  17. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    You know, what's funny about that? Fox has a lot lower ratings threshhold requirement then NBC or CBS do, because it'd be the first effort at it since Chevy Chase.

    But, if anyone does go to Fox, that is a prime gig.

    1. They would start earlier, a half an hour earlier.

    2. Fox can get them instant access to hot product that CBS and NBC doesn't have. Think "Today" show on NBC would get first dibs on booted American Idol contestants if Conan was on Fox? Think Fox wouldn't send their movie promoters to a show on their network?

    3. Fox is the primetime ratings leader, and provides better lead-ins with a younger dynamic then Jay or Dave can get.

    Fox is potentially the perfect audience for Conan. NBC cries of "tone it down for a broader audience" would totally go away, and Fox would say: "play it risky! We'll get you the cast of Glee next week, do something zany.." because the audience watching those moments will be kids, demographic oriented kids. Fox won't be afraid of "losing" any middle long term audience because they don't have any to lose.
     
  18. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    You make a pretty good point. I was thinking that given the ever declining ratings of broadcast TV that Fox would be making a mistake by adding an hour of programming to their schedule every night.
     
  19. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    Again, there is a huge - HUGE - difference between quitting (not what happened) and forcing your employer's hand to dismiss you (what is happening). About a $30-40 million difference it seems in this case.
     
  20. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    Exactly. In the long run Conan know this, and he used the attempt to force his move to 12:05am to force his departure from a company he no longer feels comfortable with. I think, when all is said and done, I'll be happily watching Conan on Fox in September.
     

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