Jimmy Kimmel asks ABC president about Leno - TCA Report
But then, people started recognizing the voice, or turned in the direction of the questioner, and realized what was going on: It was Jimmy Kimmel, and he had some pointed -- and funny -- questions for McPherson about the possibility of Jay Leno coming to ABC.
"Are there any rumors that ABC is courting Leno and how would that work?" was the opener. He also asked "Would Ted Koppel get fired?" When everyone realized who it was, a big laugh came up from the crowd. McPherson gave a pat -- scripted? -- answer. Kimmel then said "Is it McPherson or McPhorson?"
He went on to ask if talking to Leno at this point would be considered tampering, and if there were legal ramifications to that. Finally, he asked "How do you keep your hair so nice?" and if they hired Leno, is he afraid that Kimmel might "do something crazy to you or your car?"
Even the most cynical critic had to appreciate the effort. After the session, McPherson told a huge scrum of reporters that, after Leno joked about joining ABC on The Tonight Show Monday night, he asked Kimmel to come to TCAs and do this bit to defuse a little of the controversy. As for Leno, all McPherson would say was that "I can't believe (NBC is) lettng him go at the top of his game."
As for Kimmel, he was both on vacation and he's dealing with a bad breakup, so this favor to McPherson shows how loyal his is to ABC. I just wonder how loyal he'll be when he's shuffled to 12:30 in favor of Leno...
More on McPherson's session later today.