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Jay Leno: "Television is dying"

by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 10th 2009 1:01PM
LenoSo the other networks are saying that they're not going to allow cast members from their shows to be guests on NBC's The Jay Leno Show.

Leno's response? It's very Leno-ian. First he says that "television is dying," and that the networks should allow guests on his show because if they do, it will benefit and save network television. This is similar to his comments several years ago in an interview, when he said that he liked David Letterman's show and he just wanted everyone to be happy and "there's room for everybody!" This is a fantastic sentiment, though I'm never sure if he's being sincere or if it's just something you say to seem like the casual, nice guy Everyman.

It's probably a moot point anyway. If The Jay Leno Show crashes in flames, a lot of guests from shows won't go on there. But if the show is a big (or even medium) success? Why would rival networks keep their talent off the show when it's great promotion? I don't really see the other networks sticking to their guns because of principle, because Leno is taking away several hours of scripted TV every week. We'll see.

The Jay Leno Show starts this Monday.

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I think Jay and NBC both realize that most folks aren't going to tune in 5 nights a week, the way they do with Conan or Letterman. There is too much competition.

But if the star of a show that is on a weeknight at 9pm Central wants some free publicity, he can go on a night other than the night his show is on.

So, if Chris Noth or Juliana Marguiles from CBS's "The Good Wife," wanted to appear on Leno, they simply don't go on Monday night, when their show airs.

Remember that Leno's manager was his first executive producer on "The Tonight Show." She tried to make it so that guests on Jay's show wouldn't appear on Letterman, Chevy Chase's talk show, or even Conan, for a period of a week or two before or after their appearance on Leno.

Between the movie studios, the television studios, and the unions, NBC wound him firing Jay's manager and lifted the restrictions.

So, I don't think boycott of NBC will last all that long.

September 15 2009 at 8:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I love Jay Leno! If you do too check this out! I found it on youtube!

September 14 2009 at 5:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I enjoyed this from a story about the upcoming show. Two paragraphs in a row:

But Leno, whose own stand-up comedy career was boosted by his appearances on Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show," said "the days of sort of a comic coming out, hitting their marks, standing there and telling a joke" are over.
Leno will open each show with a 10-minute monologue about the day's events. "Immediacy is the key," he said.

Translation: Jay doesn't want to be upstaged by anyone. Unlike Carson, who enjoyed new funny people and played well off the comic legends of the time ... "nice guy" Jay is too insecure about it. Good thing for him that Carson didn't feel that way.

This show will be a disaster.

September 11 2009 at 11:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think Jay will do good on his show. All those millions that watched him all these years will be waiting for next Monday night. He is a good guy, a practical one as well. He earns a pretty penny doing Stand UP in Vegas, he says he has never touched his TV salary yet, it is all in the bank. So we know he isn't hurting for money and IF NBC stabs him in the back, or any other network keeps their stars off too bad for them. The stars should make up their own mind. Jay is a regular anyones man, not up town snooty like some of those others who acheived his kind of success. No one can take the King of Late Night title away until they earn it....nobody.

Good Luck Jay...keeping Kevin and the band is wonderful....just hold on for a few weeks and Conan will be an after thought. They should kick his ass to the curb and put you back to your rightful place in late night. Or perhaps you will like Primetime slot. More free time....I ask this question....hasn't anyone heard of a DVR or Tivo? I have 3 Tivos plus one DVR on DirecTV so let them grumble all they want. Perhaps they will cut out some of those dumb reality shows.

Hey IF I want to watch another Law and Order I will just turn over to TNT or TBS. My hubby is one of your greatest fans, so he will be there to be sure and since he sit through Craig with me then I sit through your show with him. I love you too but Craig is one hot, talented comedian.

We can watch you, move over to Dave and then on to Craig Ferguson.

September 11 2009 at 5:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Maleea's comment

You realize, of course, that Jay was never "kicked to the curb". He agreed to a deal to hand the show to Conan that, because of the way he genuinely DID kick both Carson and Letterman to the curb in 93, included a clause making it unable to be altered without great expense to NBC.

Jay quit, then decided he didn't want to quit. That's his fault. But don't worry about him. He's spent a lifetime watching his own behind.

September 11 2009 at 7:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

On a side note, I wish I had three TiVos.

September 11 2009 at 8:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If anything is dying it's advertising. DVR are making advertising and time-slots irrelevant.

These days it doesn't matter to the average watcher when a particular show is coming on. They simply DVR it or buy the season DVDs.

As time progresses and DVRs become a more affordable as well as more capable of recording more programs, it's going create more competition than ever before. So Leno's show won't be just competing with it's time-slot. He'll still be competing with Letterman and the others.

The Internet is only going force DVRs to be more competitive. The whole process is going to snowball in 5 years. I figure thats when stops recording their shows via VHS. Frankly I don't know a person who still uses VHS to record TV shows.

So TV isn't dying, it's merely changing with the times.

September 11 2009 at 1:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joyce N.

I love Jay Leno and will be watching his new show as often as I can. He IS a talented man. Letterman just doesn't make me laugh and Conan did on his old show. Love Craig too. Jay is bringing his best skits with him and I can't wait to watch it.

September 10 2009 at 9:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John Hewitt

Television is not dying. Television isn't even wounded. The networks may not be so strong right now, but television as a whole is doing just fine. They networks just need to stop thinking they can put any old crap on the air and dominate television. There are too many other good choices out there on cable. More importantly, I don't worry about cable shows getting canceled in the middle of a season. I'm afraid to even start watching a show on ABC or Fox because the odds are so high that it will get canceled after a few weeks.

September 10 2009 at 7:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to John Hewitt's comment

You pretty much took the words out of my mouth.

Television isn't in trouble, the old school Networks are. As far as I can tell, there are two primary reasons for this, one of which is the Nets' fault and the other isn't.

Their fault: They keep acting like they're the only game in town and refuse to get with the program. We're in the second generation of people who've never known a time without cable/satellite. Not only that, but the current generation has already also accepted DVDs, DVRs, Online Streaming (legal or otherwise) and On Demand as valid methods of entertainment access. To continue to expect the same numbers they got when their only competition was cable/satellite and VCRs is madness.

Not their fault: The old school Nets have much more restrictive content regulations than cable/satellite, and they've only gotten more so since the Super Bowl Incident. Just as a for-instance, most of FX's lineup wouldn't pass content muster on the old Nets. They should at least have the chance to live or die on an equal footing with basic cable, if nothing else.

September 10 2009 at 8:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob Sassone

sweets: Carson didn't have anything to do with giving Leno the show, it was NBC. Carson wanted Letterman.

Also, I believe that if Leno had his choice he would have stayed at Tonight and not changed anything. Again, this was NBC's call.

September 10 2009 at 4:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Bob Sassone's comment

It wasn't really NBC, though, was it? Leno could have said no. He changed his mind a couple of years before it was going to happen but decided to act like it was never his call.

September 11 2009 at 8:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Carson, must of seen something in Leno to have handed the "The Tonight Show" baton to him, talent. Leno has integrity. He doesn't and didn't want this new show. NBC did. Leno was looking forward to going back on the road and doing his own thing that he loves to do, preforming in Vegas and other cities nationwide. Leno is entertainingly funny and writes most of his own material. His friendship with Kevin is genuine. With this being said, I have to admit, the only time I won't be watching Leno is when I'll be watching one of my favorite shows on another network . It's a shame that NBC has to use a good man like Leno as a pawn to try and gain ratings.

September 10 2009 at 4:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to sweets's comment

Carson didn't HAND the baton over! Carson wanted Letterman to take over! Jay Leno snaked the show from both of them. Why do you think Carson made an appearance on Letterman (even sent him jokes) and never went on Leno once?

It's fine if you like Leno, but he is a ruthless guy that stabbed Johnny Carson in the back. Don't fool yourself.

September 11 2009 at 7:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Carson was furious about Leno getting the Tonight show. Carson Productions produced Late Night with David Letterman. NBC thought that they could have Jay AND Dave, but Dave fooled them and walked. That is why Johnny ONLY appeared on Dave and NEVER on Jay.

September 17 2009 at 2:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Leno hasn't been "the casual, nice guy everyman since the mid-90's. Also, television is already dead... the networks just haven't noticed the stench from the corpse yet.

September 10 2009 at 4:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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