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Leno's options: Could he replace Letterman at CBS?!

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 27th 2008 4:23PM

LenoYou know how people say stuff like "if CBS cancels Moonlight, I'm never watching that stupid network again!"? I think those proclamations are usually silly, but I might be in that group if the following happens: CBS replacing David Letterman with Jay Leno.

That's one of the options listed in this handy Hollywood Reporter guide to what Leno will do after his stint on NBC is over in 2009. The other options are going to ABC at 11:35, going to FOX at 11:35, a syndicated show with Sony, he stays at NBC and does some other primetime show, he takes over for Larry King on CNN, or he goes back to doing standup full-time. Taking over for Letterman would happen if (and when - he could extend his contract) Letterman retires in 2010.

This would, to me, completely suck, even if Letterman did retire and wasn't really "replaced" by Leno. But I think that Letterman would be hurt by that decision if CBS were to make it. Just this week we found out that Letterman has suffered his worst ratings since he started on CBS in 1993, for the 18-49 demo anyway, getting a 0.9.

It would certainly be odd to see Leno replace Letterman at CBS, almost like it would be the final nail in the late night talk show coffin and final proof that when it's all said and done, Leno beat Letterman in the ratings and even beat him on his own network.

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Baseballcoach231

Leno is by far the superior of the two (Letterman or Leno) its just that the people on the East Coast are so stuck on their culture that they dont get that!

July 17 2008 at 2:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kcferret

I know you are only using the Moonlight comment as an analogy but guess what, it's true. I do NOT watch CBS anymore since the canceled Moonlight. I'm not the only one either. I see this as another move by CBS to shoot themselves in the foot. Hey Nina, you only have two feet, what are you going to do after that?!

July 01 2008 at 12:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
studding

Dave is a great guy and will be replaced by no one,Jay Leno is also a great guy but,they both have different types of humour,i find it hard to separate but Dave comes first in my book.

June 28 2008 at 12:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim

Could he? Sure. Will he? Absolutely not.

What a ridiculous post.

June 28 2008 at 12:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Peter Lynn

Alvaro: You can blame Jay's not thanking Carson on terrible direction he took from his manager/producer/svengali, Helen Mushnick.

Lulu: Jay isn't retiring from the Tonight Show. He's being kicked aside in favour of Conan O'Brien. The problem is that he's not ready to retire.

I can't see Dave Letterman ever willingly retiring from television so long as Jay Leno is still on it. It seems obvious that he's determined to outlast Jay or die trying.

June 28 2008 at 9:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lulu

IMO, this seems to be so ridiculous it has to be a rumor. Why on earth would Jay Leno retire from one late night show, which is considered a success(I am not saying that it is better than David Letterman's show-that is purely a matter of individual opinion)since Leno took over for the now late Johnny Carson back in 1992 or 1993. NBC has obviously been happy with him since he is still there. If he wants to keep doing a late night show, why wouldn't he just keep his position on The Tonight Show? I think its just the talking heads trying to get every one else talking, and they've succeeded.

June 28 2008 at 3:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MERVE-THE-PERVE

I really don't think Leno would screw Dave over and take over his show. Besides, doesn't DL own that show? If Leno took that job he would have to build a whole new show, new name and all. I just wish Leno would start denying these rumors if he really is gonna retire, which I believe he will. He is just gonna piss off alot of people by letting these rumors fly around without saying there's no truth to any of them.

June 28 2008 at 12:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Picviewer

Hopefully not since when I flip over for the post 1130pm news viewing with the choices of leno, letterman or nightline it's always letterman when given the chance. Nightline should be taken behind the shed and put out of it's misery for what it's become, remember when it was a actual news show? And Leno never could stand him.

June 27 2008 at 11:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tommy

This would be the worst thing to happen in the history of television. Letterman is king. He is an idol of mine , and his show is consistently funny, original, and daring, while Leno's "Tonight Show" is safe and always boring. A lot of people make a big deal about Leno's ratings dominance. What they fail to realize is that the most popular things are very rarely of the highest quality. For example, stupid films like "White Chicks", "Charlie's Angels", and "Spiderman 3" bring in hordes of cash, while great films like "Michael Clayton", "There Will Be Blood", and "Letters From Iwo Jima" barely make a whisper at the box office. The same is true for Letterman and Leno. Nothing would make me happier than to see Letterman pummel Leno in the ratings, but ratings do not necessarily reflect quality.

And lastly, most television critics and many of Hollywood's classiest names hold Letterman in higher regard. The great Don Rickles appears on both shows, but he said in an interview with Charlie Rose that "Letterman has a lot of Carson in him". Not to mention Howard Stern, Tom Hanks, Steve Martin, Bill Murray, Julia Roberts, Billy Crystal, Regis Philbin, and Martin Short, all of whom have a special rapport with Dave. And fellow late night talk-show hosts Conan O'Brien and Jimmy Kimmel (both very funny in their own right) were heavily influenced by Letterman.

I love Conan O'Brien, and Kimmel, Bill Maher, Jon Stewart, and Stephen Colbert are all extremely funny, but Dave is the best. Long live the king!

June 27 2008 at 10:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
divineparasite

If CBS got rid of Letterman for Leno that would be even worse then NBC not hiring him for "The Tonight Show". Leno would not be hosting the "The Tonight Show" so would that mean he'd host "The Late Show" (with Jay Leno?). "The Tonight Show" has become a show with a host for hire. Anyone who hosts that gig is always going to be in the shadow of Carson and Parr. But "The Late Show" is David Letterman's show. Everything from Paul to the top ten lists, to the Hello Deli segments, makes it Letterman's show. I think its doubtful Leno would do it, but if he did, Letterman fans would HATE Leno for doing it. You can't really blame Leno for how NBC treated Letterman, but he would be fully to blame if he stole his show on CBS.

June 27 2008 at 6:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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