Got that? Neither did the critics, who repeatedly asked mostly Silverman to clarify the situation during both the panel and the scrum that followed.
Some of the "funny" lines are after the jump, but here's the gist of the news: Leno's last day on the Tonight show will be on May 29, with Conan O'Brien taking over the following Monday, June 1. Conan will do his last Late Night sometime during the first quarter, according to Graboff and Silverman, and Jimmy Fallon will take over the timeslot at an undetermined time during either March or April (that's after starting online, as Lorne Michaels announced yesterday). No word on what will play in Conan's 12:30 slot in the interim period.
NBC is trying to get a head start on all of the other networks by unveiling their new fall schedule not in the traditional month of May but six weeks earlier.
The network has announced that instead of unveiling their 2008-09 schedule in May, when all of the networks give their upfront presentations, they're going to do it a press conference next week. The press conference will be held at Rockefeller Plaza and will be headed by NBC chairman Ben Silverman and Universal Media Studios chairman Marc Graboff.
Asked what he felt was missing from NBC's lineup, the new Co-Chairman, NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios, joked he wanted the chimes in the network's jingle turned up by 30%.
Silverman assures a reporter that he and Graboff are comfortable working side by side. "This wasn't an arranged marriage," he says. "We've known each other a long time."
The thing about the cable and PBS portion of the TCA tour is that it's a lot like your first two years of college. Remember when you had to take all those science and literature required classes before you could sink your teeth into your major?
Don't get me wrong there's a lot of great programming that's not on the major networks. But attending panels on Discovery Channel's Ocean of Fear: The Worst Shark Attack Ever, CNN's Planet in Peril, and The History Channel's 1968 with Tom Brokaw kind of feels like going to school.
NBC starts today and it's one of the most anticpated days of the tour.
Every time I say that I think Jon Stewart might one day go to late night TV again (network talk show-wise, I mean), people comment that there's no way he'd leave The Daily Show because it's so popular, it gets buzz, it's the perfect job for him, etc, etc. And all that happens to be true. But I also think that people change jobs on TV all the time. They want a different challenge, and often plan their moves for when a show has lost it's buzz or isn't quite as challenging anymore.
I bring this up because Broadcasting & Cable is reporting that NBC execs Jeff Zucker and Marc Graboff "wined and dined" Stewart and his agent, James Dixon. A source says no firm offer was made, but NBC made it clear they want to work with Stewart.
Over the weekend, Nikki Finke of LA Weekly reported on her blog that Reilly will be replaced by two people: producer Ben Silverman, whose company brought The Office and Ugly Betty to the U.S., will be in charge of the entertainment side and Marc Graboff, currently NBCU Television's West Coast chief, will run the business side. Bill Carter of The New York Times is also reporting on the change, but in a less definitive manner.