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August 21, 2014

Some 'uh-ohs' bubble up behind the scenes of The Jay Leno Show

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jun 2nd 2009 2:38PM
Jay LenoYou gotta love the ol' rumor mill. It sleeps less than Amy Winehouse.

Conan O'Brien hasn't even finished his first week as the new host of The Tonight Show and the insiders are already churning out rumblings about Jay Leno's new show.

Some sources close to the network and The Jay Leno Show told Kim Masters of The Daily Beast that Leno is slowly growing unhappy with his new time slot and the changes that are being made to the new show by the network. There are even concerns that the stress of the situation is starting to take a toll on the host's health.

It seems that Leno and his staff are starting to realize the tremendous strain of the position that NBC has placed in their hands. Leno's Tonight Show has been the NBC's only consistent winner and they weren't willing to let him go without a fight. At the same time, they have put all of their eggs in one basket and that basket has been squarely placed on Leno's back.

The network's icy cold hand of changes are started to creep into Leno's studio. Some of the unidentified sources said that Leno will not simply be bringing the old format to his new time slot in primetime. He will have to do more comedy and less celebrity interviews -- which is fine with Leno -- else "Conan's people are going to have a #*$&ing fit." You can fill in the blank with whatever word you wish.

Unfortunately, a format change means some softer comedy material might have to go into the front of the show and that can drive away viewers in droves. Plus, it's going to take twice the amount of work to do daily, topical comedy five nights a week with fewer guests on the roll call. The network has also started pulling some members of Leno's staff to cut costs and Leno has been powerless to do anything about it. Hopefully that television comedy government bailout will land soon and save television land.

Worst of all, the strain and stress of the situation could be taking a huge toll on Leno's physical health. One former network executive told the blog that the host rarely takes care of himself, works constantly and that eventually "it wouldn't be surprising if at some point, that machine has to break." Maybe all these concerns could have been avoided if corporate executives stopped thinking of their employees as "machines." Even robots need a lube job.

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Ree Dick Ulus

Who cares about Leno?...Good riddance to him and that lousy band..He was a horribly boring and unintelligent host...However as a TV interviewer he is a total DUD who never uttered an intelligent question or follow up. Funny? At times, yes but mostly his skits and maybe the 'ask the morons on the street' bits...But it was the average idiots that he picked on that were funny, not Jay...How the public actually supported this guy for so long tells me who the real idiots are...

June 07 2009 at 10:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Ree Dick Ulus's comment
Ree Dick Ulus

Agree 100%. Unfortunately, we have the minority opinion. People like Leno for some reason. I always felt that Letterman was and is a better late night host for the 'more informed' viewer shall we say..Those who want their lame humor from someone that has about the same IQ of 'W', will follow Mr. Leno to his new program.

June 07 2009 at 10:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Justin

A) It's getting boring reading everyone trashing Late Night w/ Jimmy Fallon while worshipping Conan. I love Conan but he was nowhere near as good as Fallon is 3 MONTHS into his hosting career. This really is a country of right here, right now.

B) I'm sure Leno is sweating the fact that Conan pulled a 7.1 in his first night as host as well. I'm sure those numbers won't stay that high but I can imagine The Tonight Show rating better than Leno has these past few years because he was far too populist and Conan now has access to his older audience at an early timeslot. Not to mention there's got to be a fair share of Leno's old audience that like(d) Conan.

June 03 2009 at 10:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Walt

I'll repeat myself in suggesting that it's not going to be a five night a week gig for very long. Friday night will be the first to go, I figure.

NBC could always slip in a mid-season launch for Medium on Friday nights and... what's that? Medium is already on the Friday night lineup? Who's idea was that? CBS? oh... How about that...

Well,

June 02 2009 at 11:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
KevinM

Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I've always thought that Leno sucked. I've been counting down the last five years for Conan to take over the slot. NBC would be better off not doing this new Jay Leno Show.

NBC- "We're just stringing ourselves along until the next Olympics"

June 02 2009 at 10:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tool

3 1/2 hours of late night talk shows is a bit much. And yes, I am including the dreadful half-hour known as Carson Daly.

My question is how NBC is going to coordinate guests on Jay and Conan. We all the only reason why stars show up to these talk shows is to pitch their latest project (film, show, book, etc.).

Which show should they show up to? 10 PM Primetime Jay or 11:35 Late Night on the vaunted Tonight Show????

June 02 2009 at 9:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jake

I really wish that Leno had gone to ABC and hope that if this is not successful than that he still does go to ABC. Less Celebrity interviews, I thought it was the same show just on earlier and I thought this show was cheaper to produce than a single one long drama -- so what gives?


June 02 2009 at 8:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Richard Ott

Danny, that has only happened once, and if by some
act of god something should happen to Leno again,
may lightning strike down upon your TV Squad.
In other words, his new show will be as great a
ratings success as he was on The Tonight Show.
Amy Winehouse, well, that's another story.

June 02 2009 at 5:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John

Anything is better than that train wreck, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

June 02 2009 at 5:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jusitn

Of course they're finding writing comedy for a weekly show to be difficult considering they've not written anything funny in the last 17 years.

June 02 2009 at 5:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joey Geraci

Today Show and Meet the Press are other consistent winners in NBC's portfolio.

June 02 2009 at 4:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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