Manka Bros. Studios - Home
  Manka Bros. Message Boards
  Television
  The Jay Leno Show (Page 1)

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

UBBFriend: Email This Page to Someone!
This topic is 2 pages long:   1  2 
next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   The Jay Leno Show
HollywoodProducer
A-List Writer

Posts: 2599
From:La Canada
Registered: Jun 2000

posted September 14, 2009 11:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for HollywoodProducer   Click Here to Email HollywoodProducer     Edit/Delete Message
Kanye West on 'The Jay Leno Show' tonight: Will you watch?

It's certainly a big day for Jay Leno. Not only will he attempt to launch the first-ever, five-nights-a-week talk show at 10 p.m., but he'll have first crack at Kanye West, the dream killer who interrupted Taylor Swift's acceptance speech during last night's best-ever Video Music Awards. Jerry Seinfeld is scheduled to be Leno's first guest on the couch, but if the former Tonight Show is smart, he'll go mano-a-mano with West before he performs with Rihanna and Beyonce's husband, Jay-z, during the hour-long show's music segment. Better yet, bag the Seinfeld chat and put the musical acts on the spot, Jay! Oh, what a lively roundtable that could be! Ratings for tonight's show were already expected to be respectable; the lookee-loo factor is a given, since the svelter Leno will attempt to provide a comedic alternative to the darker (and ratings-challenged) dramas that typically run in the time slot.

IP: Logged

JayMcBee
Director

Posts: 99
From:Redondo Beach, CA, USA
Registered: Apr 2000

posted September 14, 2009 11:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JayMcBee   Click Here to Email JayMcBee     Edit/Delete Message
Jill Kennedy at OnMedea has blogged about tonight's first episode...
http://mankabros.com/onmedea/2009/09/jay-lenos-big-night.html

IP: Logged

HollywoodProducer
A-List Writer

Posts: 2599
From:La Canada
Registered: Jun 2000

posted September 15, 2009 09:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for HollywoodProducer   Click Here to Email HollywoodProducer     Edit/Delete Message
Critics slam `Leno Show,' call it `Tonight' rehash
By DAVID BAUDER, AP Television Writer David Bauder, Ap Television Writer 1 hr 52 mins ago

NEW YORK – Jay Leno snagged mostly negative reviews with his entry into prime time as he stuck to familiar ground — just 90 minutes earlier.

Monday's premiere of "The Jay Leno Show," which transports the longtime "Tonight Show" host to 10 p.m. EDT weekdays on NBC, was slammed as a "cut-rate, snooze-inducing, rehashed bore" by Robert Bianco of USA Today. And that was even with the presence of Leno's much-buzzed-about guest Kanye West.

The Associated Press' Frazier Moore identified "the biggest difference between Leno's new show and his old one: With his fade-out at 11 p.m., the local news began."

Of course, Leno has never been the critics' darling. The first response from viewers wouldn't be known until Nielsen ratings are released later Tuesday.

But audience numbers aren't likely to sway The Los Angeles Times' Mary McNamara, who called the show "a strange, shallow puddle of comedy."

"This is the future of television?" she wrote. "This wasn't even a good rendition of television past."

"The future of `The Jay Leno Show' is likely to look almost exactly like `The Tonight Show' past," complained Alessandra Stanley of The New York Times. "So much ink has been devoted to describing how Mr. Leno's new show would depart from his old one that it was startling to see how little difference there was."

Indeed, much ink has been devoted to "The Jay Leno Show" since NBC's announcement last December.

And many questions have swirled: Will a cost-cutting comedy show stripped across weeknights imperil more expensive weekly scripted drama shows? Will the audience embrace this NBC alternative to fictional docs, cops and lawyers? Has fourth-rated NBC found a strategy that not only will improve its fortunes, but also alter the programming landscape on rival networks?

Or will this prove to be NBC's biggest flop yet?

These are questions likely to remain unresolved for months.

The premiere was relentlessly hyped by NBC all summer, even prompting Leno to crack when he arrived on stage, "This isn't another annoying promo. This is the actual show!"

For his debut, he had booked a relatively big name, Jerry Seinfeld, besides lucking into TV's biggest get, Kanye West, who was not only able to perform a song ("Run This Town," along with Jay-Z and Rihanna), but also apologize lugubriously for his bad behavior on an MTV awards show Sunday night.

Giving curious viewers yet more reason to sample Jay's first night was the fact that ABC and CBS were airing retreads during his time slot: the final hour of the 2006 film "Dreamgirls" and a rerun of "CSI: Miami," respectively.

IP: Logged

indiedan
A-List Writer

Posts: 8307
From:Santa Monica
Registered: May 2000

posted September 17, 2009 10:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for indiedan   Click Here to Email indiedan     Edit/Delete Message
TV Ratings: 'Talent' finale gives Leno a Wednesday bump

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, Sept 16, 2009. After dropping in its second airing, NBC's "The Jay Leno" show was back up on Night Three thanks, in no small part, to the finale of "America's Got Talent," which brought a huge audience to the network. In other news, The CW's "The Beautiful Life: Tbl" had a dismal premiere and Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance" and "Glee" were both down in their second airings of the season (facing the obviously compatible "Agt" finale).

IP: Logged

HollywoodProducer
A-List Writer

Posts: 2599
From:La Canada
Registered: Jun 2000

posted September 22, 2009 10:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for HollywoodProducer   Click Here to Email HollywoodProducer     Edit/Delete Message
From Deadline Hollywood:

TOLDJA! Jay Leno Slips Into Last Place Against Real Competition, Not Just Repeats
By Nikki Finke

Yeah, this was a GREAT idea, Jeff Zucker. Once again, just like last season, NBC ranked fourth in primetime Monday, dead last among all the broadcast networks, with a weak 2-hour Heroes premiere that fell 46% from last year's opener. At 10 PM, The Jay Leno Show attracted only 5.7 million viewers, but most importantly fell to 1.8 (for 3rd position, since Fox doesn't program at 10 PM). It had recorded a low of only 2.0 last week during its debut. Nor can NBC save face by boasting about Jay's demographics since he skews older. As I noted at the time, it was ridiculous for NBC to be crowing about Leno's "highest-rated" numbers last week when it was only up against repeats. Facing competition this week, the show folded like a house of cards. Which sums up Zucker's running of the broadcast network, doesn't it? I can't imagine why any advertiser would choose Leno over CSI: Miami at 10 PM. The experiment failed. (I'll have more later.)

IP: Logged

fred
A-List Writer

Posts: 7742
From:Redmond, WA
Registered: Apr 2000

posted September 22, 2009 11:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fred   Click Here to Email fred     Edit/Delete Message
What could possibly bring the ratings up? I think it's over. NO matter the guests.

IP: Logged

HollywoodProducer
A-List Writer

Posts: 2599
From:La Canada
Registered: Jun 2000

posted September 23, 2009 04:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for HollywoodProducer   Click Here to Email HollywoodProducer     Edit/Delete Message
This is a lie.
-----------------
Panel call NBC's 'Leno' move gutsy
Participants included USA's Wachtel, WME's Ferriter

Sept 22, 2009, 09:20 PM ET


With just a 1.5 rating, "The Jay Leno Show" could make $300 million a year for NBC -- and probably spark other networks to follow suit.

That was the judgment of WME head of nonscripted John Ferriter, speaking Tuesday on a Producers Caucus panel at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Other panelists, including USA Networks' Jeff Wachtel and Lionsgate's Kevin Beggs, concurred that NBC's move was gutsy and that in any case the Peacock almost certainly would continue to declare victory -- often and loudly -- with regard to replacing five scripted hours a week with "Leno."

As for what the intrusion of a talk show into network primetime means for television during the next two years, most opined that the proportions of scripted and nonscripted likely won't shift dramatically overall. But they noted that cablers are likely to play a bigger role with dramas and comedies and that broadcasters would have further reduced their reliance on scripted, especially high-end, dramas.

In other remarks, HBO's Michael Lombardo said the biggest challenge is always to get the best talent and give them free rein to do their thing.

"It doesn't matter how old or young the writer is or how many credits he has," Lombardo said. "The question is, does he bring a fresh voice to interesting material?" HBO's president of programming also said that his company had been "stymied" in the wake of the success of "The Sopranos" and "Sex and the City" but now has its creative mojo back in gear.

During the discussion about the new season and changing business models, drama creator-producers Kevin Williamson ("The Vampire Diaries") and Matt Nix ("Burn Notice") amusingly described their methods and the hourly pressures they face to get their shows in the can. Neither, interestingly, is averse to notes from executives or product-placement possibilities; both get that cost-containment is part of the process.

Asked about their involvement in their respective Web expansions and iterations, both had the same response. Said Nix: "We're really not involved. However integral to the series such things are described at Comic-Con, essentially the Web thing just gets farmed out to a talented staff writer who wants to step up."

The panel was moderated by THR editor Elizabeth Guider.

IP: Logged

HollywoodProducer
A-List Writer

Posts: 2599
From:La Canada
Registered: Jun 2000

posted September 30, 2009 05:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for HollywoodProducer   Click Here to Email HollywoodProducer     Edit/Delete Message
Leno Effect: NBC drops in three time slots (Hollywood Reporter)

While "The Jay Leno Show" has performed well since the start of the season, NBC's 10 p.m. slot is down significantly compared with last year -- as are the broadcaster's local news telecasts and "The Tonight Show." When isolated, "Leno Show" is pulling better-than-expected numbers at 10 p.m. The show has demonstrated that with a strong lead-in, it can retain a significant share of viewers and post a competitive number. Also, Leno has decreased the amount of time-shifting at 10 p.m., according to preliminary estimates released by TiVo, meaning more viewers are watching the hour live -- something advertisers and networks vastly prefer. But while the media has largely focused on Leno's overnight numbers, NBC's 10 p.m. and late night shake-up impacted a trio of time periods (more if you count late-late night) and it's worth checking how those slots are performing. Since the start of the season compared to the same period last year* ...

>> NBC has averaged a 2.0 adult demo rating at 10 p.m. -- down 43%. (Last year the network aired programs such as the latter half of a "Heroes" premiere, "Law & Order: SVU," "Lipstick Jungle" and "ER" in the slot).

>> From 11 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., when affiliates air local news, NBC stations averaged 6.4 million viewers -- down 16%.

>> "Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien" averaged a 1.0 adult demo rating, down 23% compared with last fall when Leno ran the program.

NBC is not alone in some of these drops. ABC has scripted programming and is also down double digits at 10 p.m., with last night's "The Forgotten" scoring a lower rating than "Leno." ABC is likewise down 13% at 11 p.m.. CBS posted slight 11 p.m. declines as well. The Leno ratings story boilerplate: Debating The Leno Effect remains about context and big pictures -- and there's always greater context and a larger picture to be found by adding one more statistic, or waiting for one more day of data. Leno in primetime is NBC's year-round strategy, and pulling numbers at this point cannot tell the full tale.

IP: Logged

Jill Kennedy
Hack Writer

Posts: 1
From:La Canada, CA
Registered: Oct 2009

posted October 01, 2009 04:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jill Kennedy   Click Here to Email Jill Kennedy     Edit/Delete Message
The Jay Leno Show Has Failed...
http://mankabros.com/onmedea/2009/10/the-jay-leno-show-has-failed.html

IP: Logged

indiedan
A-List Writer

Posts: 8307
From:Santa Monica
Registered: May 2000

posted October 12, 2009 05:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for indiedan   Click Here to Email indiedan     Edit/Delete Message
The continuously dwindling audience for the new Jay Leno Show appears to be having a domino effect on the rest of NBC's schedule, the ratings for the local newscasts that follow it, the Conan O'Brien-hosted Tonight show, and Jimmy Fallon's late-night talk show that follows Tonight, the New
York Times reported today (Monday), citing a prominent advertising executive. Shari Anne Brill, the senior vice president and director of program analysis for the advertising agency Carat, told the newspaper that she had predicted the ratings dive after NBC decided to air Leno at 10:00 p.m. "It was never a ratings decision. It was a money decision," she said. But Jeff Gaspin, chairman of NBC Universal Entertainment, observed that ABC is doing worse than NBC in the 10:00 p.m. time period overall with shows that have budgets that are three times higher than Leno's. "Jay is doing fine," Gaspin told the Times. "Conan is doing what we expected him to do. ... We're going to look at our average over the full year."

IP: Logged

fred
A-List Writer

Posts: 7742
From:Redmond, WA
Registered: Apr 2000

posted October 12, 2009 05:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fred   Click Here to Email fred     Edit/Delete Message
Debate Over Effects of Leno’s Show (NYT complete)

By BILL CARTER
Two weeks into a new season, the talk of television is the Leno effect — and whether it is hazardous to NBC’s health.

It is not just a question of how the new “Jay Leno Show” itself is faring in the ratings, but also what the show’s occupation of the 10 p.m. hour on NBC means to the network as a whole.

As Shari Anne Brill, the senior vice president and director of program analysis for the advertising agency Carat, put it, “It’s really looking like dominoes.”

The dominoes in question are the other parts of NBC’s schedule affected by the network’s decision to relocate its late-night star, Mr. Leno, to prime time. Even though, as NBC executives point out, it is early in this experiment, signs of potential collateral damage have already emerged.

Shows seem to have suffered because they have been displaced to new time periods, like “Law & Order SVU,” which was the leading drama when it played at 10 p.m. on Tuesdays, but now is finishing last after moving to 9 on Wednesdays.

Late newscasts on local stations affiliated with NBC are reporting significant ratings declines, at least partly because of a ratings drop-off in the 10:30 half-hour that precedes them.

And the late-night programs, led by “The Tonight Show,” that have been a perennial source of strength for NBC are no longer the automatic winners against their CBS competition.

Conan O’Brien, the new “Tonight” host, has been swamped recently by the tidal wave of publicity surrounding his CBS rival, David Letterman; but he also has been inheriting much smaller audiences than ever before in “Tonight’s” history.

That means NBC’s second act in late night, Jimmy Fallon, is also getting a much weaker lead-in than Mr. O’Brien did in the same hour a year ago, and as a result is falling behind his CBS competitor, Craig Ferguson, in audience totals.

NBC rightly points out that both its late-night stars remain more popular with younger viewers who are more valuable in selling to advertisers, but in the past NBC’s late-night hours were dominant across the board, not just with narrower audience segments.

And all of this is playing out against a backdrop of reports that General Electric is in talks with Comcast to sell NBC Universal.

Looked at in isolation, Mr. Leno has been doing everything NBC expected of him.

His ratings, after a big first week, have leveled off to about five million viewers a night (though some nights have been much lower) with a 1.5 to 2 rating in the category NBC identifies as all-important, viewers ages 18 to 49, the group many advertisers want to reach.

Though most 10 p.m. shows with those kinds of numbers get canceled, NBC has said from the beginning that it could accept much lower ratings because of the enormous cost savings of Mr. Leno’s show versus expensive hourlong scripted dramas. The network guaranteed advertisers that it would average only a 1.5 rating.

The network’s performance over all has not shown signs of a comeback. While somewhat propped up so far by professional football on Sunday night, NBC has not added any standout new shows. The new drama “Trauma” has already faltered, and a promising new comedy, “Community,” struggled last week when it was moved to a new 8 p.m. time period.

NBC has only two real points of strength now, two hours worth of the reality show “The Biggest Loser” on Tuesday and the comedy “The Office” on Thursday.

NBC has also emphasized that Mr. Leno needs to be judged over the full year because he will be offering many more original weeks of shows than his competitors.

But for some, the judgment is already clear-cut. Producers of shows that have in the past, and could in the future, fill the 10 p.m. hour on several networks are using words like “complete calamity” and “utter disaster” to describe the current state of NBC — though they are using the words while requesting anonymity because of the potential to be in business with NBC in the future.

One producer of several hits lamented the overall absence of a 10 p.m. opportunity for new dramas, saying NBC was formerly the place where the most innovative dramas on television — from “Hill Street Blues” to “E.R.” — found a home.

One recent example was the new police show “Southland,” which was NBC’s best-reviewed drama in years. In the past the network might have waited for it to build an audience based on its quality; but last week NBC announced it was canceling the show.

“Southland” was clearly intended as a 10 p.m. entry. John Wells, the longtime executive producer of “E.R.” who held the same position on “Southland,” issued a statement saying, “I’m disappointed that NBC no longer has time periods available to support that kind of critically acclaimed series that was for so many years a hallmark of their success.”

If producers have reason to be dismayed, owners of NBC’s affiliated stations may be expected to be in open revolt. Among the top 15 cities in the country, ratings for the late news — a prime source of revenue for local television — are down 10 to 30 percent

But so far the owners seem to be holding their tongues — along with their breath. “You don’t make decisions based on a week or two,” said Michael Fiorile, the vice chairman of the Dispatch Broadcasting Group, which owns the NBC affiliate in Indianapolis. “Six months from now we’ll take a look at the trends.”

Media buyers like Ms. Brill are saying the early results are really no surprise. “It’s exactly what I predicted,” Ms. Brill said, adding of the decision to move Mr. Leno to 10, “it was never a ratings decision. It was a money decision.”

It still seems to be. Jeff Gaspin, the chairman of NBC Universal Entertainment, said he was certain of one aspect of the Leno move. “We’ll make money at 10 o’clock this year, I guarantee.”

The rationale for the move of Mr. Leno was simple: the network could not endure his likely move to ABC, where he would have created a new late-night program and undermined the strength of “The “Tonight Show.”

But NBC is justifying the move by citing both the savings Mr. Leno’s show represents over expensive 10 p.m. dramas and the apparent disintegration of the 10 p.m. hour across the board. Mr. Gaspin repeated NBC’s conclusion that hits cannot be established at 10 anymore, largely because the hour is dominated by viewers playing back recorded shows on digital video recorders.

“Look at how ABC is doing at 10 against Jay,” Mr. Gaspin said.

Indeed, ABC’s performance is certainly providing some cover for NBC’s move at 10. Mr. Leno is already faring as well or better than two new ABC dramas, “The Forgotten” and “Eastwick,” and he is not far behind a third, “Castle.” All those shows cost three times as much or more per episode as Mr. Leno’s show.

Mr. Gaspin argued that NBC is not abandoning quality drama and cited recent deals for future shows, including outbidding the other networks for a spy drama from J. J. Abrams (“Lost”) and an American version of the British police classic “Prime Suspect.”

“Maybe we made some wrong choices with shows this season, but we are still investing in programming,” Mr. Gaspin said.

NBC is not engaging in any speculation about trends because it is arguing it is simply too early to read them. “We have to play for the long haul,” Mr. Gaspin said. It also might help not to keep “making proclamations that we’re doing this for cost reasons,” he said.

“Jay is doing fine,” Mr. Gaspin said. “Conan is doing what we expected him to do.” He added, “We’re going to look at our average over the full year.”

IP: Logged

indiedan
A-List Writer

Posts: 8307
From:Santa Monica
Registered: May 2000

posted October 15, 2009 04:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for indiedan   Click Here to Email indiedan     Edit/Delete Message
ABC's Eastwick continued to be the only network program that is drawing fewer viewers than Jay Leno's on NBC. On Wednesday, Eastwick drew just 5.09 million viewers at 10:00 p.m., while Leno attracted 6.16 million. Several analysts are predicting that ABC is likely to yank Eastwick from the time period before next Wednesday. By contrast, CBS's CSI: New York, drew more than both competing shows -- 12.94 million. CBS also won every other half-hour period in primetime Wednesday night among overall viewers.

IP: Logged

indiedan
A-List Writer

Posts: 8307
From:Santa Monica
Registered: May 2000

posted October 27, 2009 03:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for indiedan   Click Here to Email indiedan     Edit/Delete Message
Tallying The Cost Of The Leno Move

NBC has lost 30 percent of its viewers in the 10:00 p.m. hour since it turned the hour over to Jay Leno last month, Advertising Age reported today (Tuesday), citing figures from a research note by Wells Fargo Securities. The loss of viewers has resulted in an even deeper slump in advertising revenue, the trade publication indicated. For example, it noted that whereas My Own Worst Enemy, which starred Christian Slater, commanded an average of $99,009 per 30-second spot on Monday nights last season, the Leno show only takes in $53,640. The trade publication did not compare what NBC had to pay for Enemy compared with what it now pays for Leno. However, it noted that Leno is expected to improve considerably in the summer when it airs all-new live shows against the other networks' repeats.

IP: Logged

fred
A-List Writer

Posts: 7742
From:Redmond, WA
Registered: Apr 2000

posted November 02, 2009 11:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fred   Click Here to Email fred     Edit/Delete Message
Leno says he’d return to ‘Tonight’ if asked
Host getting some heat in 10 p.m. slot, says he’d rather have stayed put
The Associated Press
updated 9:36 a.m. PT, Mon., Nov . 2, 2009

NEW YORK - Prime-time newcomer Jay Leno says he would have rather stayed put at “The Tonight Show” — and if NBC offered him that job again, he’d take it.

In an interview with Broadcasting & Cable magazine published online Monday, Leno hastily added that such a decision isn’t his to make.

Conan O’Brien, his replacement as “Tonight” host after 17 years, is “doing fine,” Leno said.

“Conan is in the same position I was in when I took over. It takes a while. Some will like it; some will leave forever and not come back.”

Leno said he doesn’t think the recent controversy surrounding his former late-night rival David Letterman “will have a big effect at all.”

Referring to Letterman’s acknowledged sexual affairs with female members of his staff, Leno said, “If it were me, it would kill me. I’m the guy who’s been married 29 years. But Dave has never pretended to be Mr. Moral America, he’s never set himself up that way. He’s not a hypocrite.”

“The Jay Leno Show” began on NBC in September, airing Monday through Friday at 10 p.m. Eastern, where it has displaced several prime-time scripted dramas. For that, and for his less-than-stellar ratings thus far, Leno has taken heat within the TV industry as well as from critics.

It’s just part of the battle, said Leno, who insisted he enjoys it.

“I get a certain amount of satisfaction from pounding my head against the wall,” he said. “I’m not having a bad time at 10 o’clock now. I look at this as a job, and now I’m faced with a challenge, and it’s a challenge I find difficult but interesting.”

IP: Logged

indiedan
A-List Writer

Posts: 8307
From:Santa Monica
Registered: May 2000

posted November 10, 2009 04:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for indiedan   Click Here to Email indiedan     Edit/Delete Message
Is Leno’s 10 p.m. experiment nearing an end?
Low prime-time ratings also pulling down local news, ‘Tonight’ numbers
By Bill Brioux
msnbc.com contributor
updated 3:49 p.m. PT, Mon., Nov . 9, 2009
As the title of his 1996 autobiography suggests, Jay Leno went straight into his NBC prime-time rescue mission “Leading With My Chin.” Last week, he walked straight into a haymaker.

The 59-year-old comedian saw an opportunity to boost “The Jay Leno Show” heading into the November sweeps, sitting for an interview with trade magazine Broadcast & Cable. What happened next led to the type of damaging headline he often mocks on his show: “Leno says he’d return to ‘Tonight.’”

That’s how it read in a wide-ranging Q&A session. Leno sounds his typical, scrappy self, insisting he has no intention of backing down from this fight and that he’s in for the long haul. But word back from several quarters is that Leno felt badgered into the “Tonight Show” statement and has, for now, stopped talking to the press.

All this comes as “The Jay Leno Show” sits — two months into a two-year deal — mired in less-than-stellar ratings.

So low, in fact, the series routinely earns a “loser” tag on Marc Berman’s widely-read Mediaweek industry column, “The Programming Insider.”

“It’s an enormous flop,” said Berman, who doesn’t see the show’s ratings improving any time soon. “NBC is not popping open bottles of champagne celebrating Jay Leno.”

(Msnbc.com is a joint venture between NBC and Microsoft.)

Most observers expected the series to start fast and it did, drawing more than 18.5 million for that awkward Kanye West confessional on opening night. Launching seven days in advance of the new fall season on rival networks, the series did well all week.


Then back came CBS’s 10 p.m. power alley, “CSI: Miami,” “CSI: NY,” “The Mentalist,” and promising newcomer “The Good Wife.” Down went Leno.

The comedian did his best to downplay expectations last August before critics in Los Angeles. We won’t beat “CSI Miami” and “The Mentalist” head-to-head against fresh episodes, he stated, but watch for us on those weeks the other guys are in reruns.

The first of those weeks came and went at the end of October, and “The Jay Leno Show” did not see any lift in the ratings. The series drew between 4.4 million and a little more than 6 million in overnight estimates between Oct. 26-30. His rating among the all-important 18-49-year old demo hovered between 1.2 and 1.8, with his best score occurring Tuesday nights out of “The Biggest Loser.”


If anything, the network that saw a rise in ratings that week was ABC, with shows like “Castle” and “Private Practice” soaring to season highs.

Leno and NBC argue that his cost-efficient show is priced to turn a profit even at a 1.5 rating among 18-49-year-olds, but the numbers have dipped below even that low threshold.

A late October report in Advertising Age suggested NBC has only been able to charge on average less than $60,000 per 30-second spot on “Leno,” half what CBS has been getting for rookie drama “The Good Wife” and a quarter what ABC demands for “Grey’s Anatomy.”


Then there is what Bill Carter and others have been calling “the Leno effect.” The New York Times television columnist and author of “The Late Shift” (the book on the Leno/David Letterman toss up over “Tonight”) said Leno’s low 10 p.m. score has hurt NBC’s entire schedule.

“They had to move ‘Law & Order: SVU’ to 9 o’clock to accommodate ‘Leno,’” Carter said. “That was a time period-winning show for many years and it’s finishing last at 9 o’clock. Now they’ve got a fourth-place show.”

Carter also notes that Conan O’Brien’s “Tonight” is down roughly two million viewers a night year-to-year. Jimmy Fallon’s “Late Night” show, which follows, has shed about a third of what O’Brien used to draw at that hour. Carter sees nothing but damage to “this gigantic, historic NBC tradition, dominant in late-night for half a century.”

Then there are those 200-plus NBC affiliate newscasts, the ones Leno has been asking viewers to stay tuned for every night. Dips of between 20-30 percent have been reported in local newscast ratings in New York, Los Angeles and Miami.

“We’re off to a rough start,” said Jim Toellner, general manager of NBC’s Gannett-owned Buffalo, N.Y., affiliate WGRZ-TV. “Our newscast and our lead-in to our newscast are down significantly from where it was a year ago.”

Toellner, however, said most affiliate managers he’s heard from are trying to hold to a long-term view. That recent week against repeats really wasn’t a fair snapshot, he said, because it occurred opposite baseball playoffs and World Series coverage on Fox, not normally a factor at 10 p.m. “That really impacted us,” Toellner said. “The New York Yankees are kind of like Buffalo’s third professional team.”

Still, there have been rumblings — some ignited by Leno’s own musings to Broadcast & Cable — that NBC might rethink its 10 p.m. experiment. The rumors are rampant: Leno moves back to “Tonight,” displacing O’Brien to who-knows-where. The affiliates move their newscasts back to 10 p.m., bumping Leno to 11 and O’Brien’s “Tonight” to 12. Leno only airs three times a week, with NBC moving dramas back into at least two 10 p.m. slots.

Another large wild card in all these musings is the possible sale of NBC Universal, with cable giant Comcast among the suitors.


Ownership issues aside, Berman, for one, thinks NBC will stick with Leno at 10 p.m. for the rest of this season. “If you take away one or two nights, that’s going to send a signal to viewers that it’s over,” he said.

Carter also thinks Leno isn’t going anywhere. “One of the things that is clearly in his favor is that this was a plan that was formulated at the highest levels at NBC,” Carter said. “To the extent that there is any second guessing it would have to be at less than the highest level.”

Besides, Carter believes writing Leno off is always a mistake. “That’s done too often and he’s proven people wrong a lot,” he said.

Aaron Barnhart, the TV columnist for the Kansas City Star, agrees. “If they move him back, if they move him forward, it’s suicide,” said Barnhart. “Any executive who wants to take him out, he’s got to face the music — there’s nothing to put on in his place.”

A long time late-night observer, Barnhart also feels that Leno is closest to Johnny Carson when it comes to understanding where the real power lies in television. “As long as he controls the desk, as long as he remains NBC’s biggest star, he’s in the driver’s seat,” Barnhart said.

That being said, Bill Carter believes Leno’s task is beyond Herculean. Where he used to work two comedy acts a night on “Tonight,” he now has four or five, including those electric car stunts and “Ten at 10” segments.

“Think of the classic comedy hours of the past — Jackie Gleason or Carol Burnett — and they were on once a week,” Carter said. “When is Jay supposed to rehearse?”

Bill Brioux’s “Night Watch: 50 Years of Late Night Television,” is due out in 2010 from Praeger Press.

IP: Logged


This topic is 2 pages long:   1  2 

All times are PT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | Manka Bros. Studios - Home

© 2010 Manka Bros. Studios - All Rights Reserved.

Powered by Infopop www.infopop.com © 2000
Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.45b