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July 28, 2014

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Conan O'Brien puts his future in your hands

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jan 19th 2010 7:30PM
Once again, Conan O'Brien has put the future of his career in his fans' hands.

Not a smart move if you ask me. Isn't his ratings what finally did him and Jay Leno in, even if Conan has more public support than Superman and Batman combined if they were doing battle with Lex Luthor, The Joker and Jeff Zucker?

The soon-to-be former Tonight Show host has gotten a ton of other offers from a personal invitation from Kurt Sutter to play an IRA gun runner on next season's Sons of Anarchy to a starring role in a Pink Visual porno called Conan the Bangbarian. Now ol' "Conebone69" himself has asking his viewers to vote for his fate in an online poll at the show's official website.

As of Tuesday afternoon and of no surprise to anyone with a working central nervous system, the porno offer is in the lead with 34 percent.

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Conan O'Brien talks stall over staff buyout

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jan 19th 2010 7:00PM
I've been waiting all day for an official announcement from NBC or Conan O'Brien or God on what the network plans to do with Conan O'Brien, Jay Leno and the late night dynasty that is The Tonight Show. It looks like we'll have to wait just a little bit longer.

Bill Carter of the New York Times reported on the paper's "Media Decoder" blog that the talks between the network and the show have reached a road block over how much Conan's staff should receive as a severance.

It seems the network isn't ponying up enough dough for putting Conan's people out of work in this wintry economic climate. Conan's people are trying to score his staff members who aren't under a network contract at least $12 million, a number the network has yet to put on the table.

Stay tuned, TV Squadders. An announcement about the announcement is bound to land soon.

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Southland's Ben McKenzie loves the cancelling of Jay Leno

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jan 19th 2010 7:04AM
The whole Jay Leno/Conan O'Brien shakeup may have the rest of the world crying like jilted prom queens, but it's got one man grinning from ear to ear. And no, it's not Jeff Zucker. That would be more of a giant, belly shaking James Bond villain laugh.

Ben McKenzie, the man who tore into Jay Leno and his former network for pushing his cop drama Southland out of its time slot when Jay moved into primetime, has said he's happy The Jay Leno Show is going out of commission.

While he says that Leno is a "great guy," it still doesn't change his sentiments that he's "glad it failed...Things have worked out in a good way."

I'm sure Conan seconds those thoughts. That should make his first interview on Fox's Up Late at Night with Conan O'Brien especially awkward when he goes on it to promote Southland on TNT.

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Jay Leno vs. Conan O'Brien: The Endgame

by Gary Susman, posted Jan 18th 2010 1:45PM
Today looks like the day the great 'Tonight Show' wars of 2010 will end. NBC is expected to announce today the terms of Conan O'Brien's departure from the network and its plans for Jay Leno to resume his old post at 'The Tonight Show' at its original hour of 11:35PM. Still, a lot of questions remain unanswered. Here's the latest on how we expect it to play out.

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How NBC Can Completely Destroy Itself

by Gary Susman, posted Jan 15th 2010 6:00PM
NBC is already doing a pretty good job of destroying itself, from its failure to develop new hit shows to the extraordinary bad will it's generated through the Jay Leno-Conan O'Brien fiasco. (indeed, whether you're on Team Jay or Team Coco, we all agree that NBC has screwed our guy over.)

Still, the fourth-place network is hanging in there, so clearly, there's a lot left to do if NBC is really going to destroy itself. While it's hard to come up with ideas that are even more smack-your-forehead stupid than the ones coming out of the NBC executive suites, we do have some suggestions.

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NBC is close to letting Conan go

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jan 15th 2010 8:02AM
Conan O'BrienIt appears that NBC is going to hold Conan O'Brien to his word and allow him to leave the network, now that Jay Leno will move back to 11:30 p.m. barring some unforeseen hiccup like a global apocalypse or Jesus becoming Conan's new agent.

The Daily Beast reports that "knowledegable sources" said that if Conan leaves the network, he will be free to appear on other networks under his NBC contract and interested parties are negotiating a payout.

Apparently, the whole mess started by NBC, beyond their going back on their word that Conan could keep The Tonight Show, was over the size of the payout for Conan. The sources don't say the size or even the range of the payout, but rest assured that the actual amount could totally cover the tab you racked up at your local Hooters. You know who you are.

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Dear NBC: Just Let Jay Leno Go

by Gary Susman, posted Jan 12th 2010 6:30PM
Dear NBC,

There's a simple solution to your late-night dilemma, though you're not going to like it: Let Jay Leno go.

He's given you decades of yeoman service, including 14 years of top ratings on 'The Tonight Show.' But his time has passed. It's time to thank him for his invaluable contribution to the network, hand him a gold watch and let him spend the rest of his days puttering in his garage or doing stand-up in Vegas.

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What Does the Jay Leno Shake-Up Mean for David Letterman?

by Gary Susman, posted Jan 12th 2010 2:00PM
David Letterman was in rare form last night, firing off merciless fusillades of jokes about the late-night woes of his former network NBC and his longtime rival Jay Leno. But Leno could have the last laugh if NBC gets to remake its late-night schedule the way it wants to. And Letterman could be the one who suffers the most from the new arrangement.

Letterman is currently riding high in the late-night ratings wars, easily beating new timeslot rival Conan O'Brien. That could change, however, if, as NBC hopes, Leno takes the half-hour from 11:35PM to 12:05AM, followed by O'Brien's 'Tonight Show' and then, at 1:05AM, 'Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.'

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NBC says Conan O'Brien is not going anywhere

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jan 7th 2010 8:22PM
Conan O'Brien Finally, there is some good news in the never-ending Jay Leno debacle and no, it's not that NBC has finally decided to put The Jay Leno Show out of its long-standing misery.

NBC just released a statement that whatever decision they make regarding Leno's show, they are sticking with Conan O'Brien.

Of course, that doesn't mean they won't make him move back to Late Night or out of The Tonight Show spot to make room for Leno. What do you think the NBC executives will do with Leno or O'Brien, other than pray to Pan, the goat god worshiped by all of the corporate elite?

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Pioneering Sports Machine host George Michael dies at 70

by Danny Gallagher, posted Dec 25th 2009 9:05AM
One of television's biggest sports names long before people cared about the people who talked about sports on television has died.

George Michael, the sportscaster and longtime host of the nationally syndicated George Michael's Sports Machine, succumbed to a long battle with cancer on Thursday.

To call him ahead of his time would be an understatement. He basically invented the hyper clip style format of shows like ESPN's SportsCenter, brought a great deal of personality to TV sports reporting and sportscasting and even inspired and mentored the likes of Pardon the Interruption's Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon.

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Top TV Stories of 2009: Comcast buys NBC Universal

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Dec 15th 2009 10:02AM
When Comcast bought NBC, the media map changed.As 2009 draws to a close, the world has exactly what it needs -- another massive media conglomerate.

On Dec. 3, cable giant Comcast justified a long-standing industry rumor and completed an $8 billion deal to acquire a controlling 51% of NBC Universal stock from former owner General Electric.

Huge companies gobbling up big (but not as huge) companies is nothing new in any business, especially broadcasting. All of the major networks are owned by parent companies. Disney owns ABC. Newscorp owns Fox. Westinghouse owns CBS. Now, Comcast possesses NBC -- as Conan O'Brien celebrates in this clip.

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How much saturated fat is in the NBC/Comcast deal?

by Danny Gallagher, posted Dec 3rd 2009 9:30PM
Some people think the Comcast takeover of NBC is so unhealthy that they have created their own nutritional information of the deal.

The nonprofit media organization, FreePress, has compiled a list of the potential for customer costs, voice diversity and media control when the deal finally goes through. If the numbers are as accurate as the group claims, they are pretty sobering. Don't read it, posted after the jump, while you're watching TV or you might break it in a fit of rage.

You wouldn't read the nutritional chart at McDonald's while you're biting into a big juicy Double Quarter Pounder, would you?

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What does the NBC/Comcast deal mean for you?

by Danny Gallagher, posted Dec 3rd 2009 6:01PM
All this talk about Comcast gobbling up the NBC empire like an English orphan going for the last morsel of figgy pudding at the Christmas dinner table may have some viewers lost in the void of the vortex.

TVTattle has compiled a smart series of stories on exactly what the deal could mean to you, the viewer. For instance, Comcast, a cable company, may have purchased NBC to "devalue" free TV, much in the same way Judge Doom from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? bought the Red Car company so he could "dismantle it" to run his freeway through Toontown. And if you British literature snobs can think of a better metaphor, be my guest.

There is also talk that Comcast might drop the NBC brand. Does that mean the company will also take out the NBC peacock Ol' Yeller style?

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Five changes Comcast should make to NBC

by Joel Keller, posted Dec 3rd 2009 3:02PM
Comcast and NBC Universal logosIt's official: GE has sold 51% of NBC Universal to Comcast, for approximately $6.5 billion dollars in cash (what are the odds they'll use this as an excuse to raise my cable bill again?). It'll take about a year to go through the regulatory and anti-trust gauntlets, but after that, the cable giant will be in charge.

Everyone makes fun of NBCU because of the NBC's bumbling high-profile moves over the last half-decade or so, but the reason why the company was so attractive to Comcast was not the broadcast network, but its über-successful cable networks, especially Bravo and USA. Still, it's embarrassing to have your flagship net stumble around like a disoriented shopper on Black Friday. So, if I were in the Comcast executive suite, here's a few things I'd do to prop up the Peacock:

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Yup, Comcast now owns NBC

by Brad Trechak, posted Dec 3rd 2009 9:30AM
NBC LogoThe clues were there and now it's official. A press release has been issued confirming Comcast buying a 51% stake in NBCU with GE owning the remaining 49%. Now the fun begins.

The question is: what will Comcast dump and what will they keep? Almost certainly they will keep the cable networks. Will they keep the NBC network itself? NBC is a popular name brand, but the network has been sagging in the ratings to the point where they're trying desperate moves like "Leno at Ten-o" (a phrase that NBC will undoubtedly use soon if they haven't already).

One can hope the Comcast deal will be a boon to NBC and give the network a shot in the arm to produce better television. I remain skeptical. At this stage, it's pretty much a "wait and see" situation.

What do you think is going to happen? Will Comcast's involvement make NBC Universal better or worse?

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