Sunday, January 10, 2010

Jay Leno: Last 10 PM show to air Feb. 12

Breathlessly following the twitters coming from the winter Television Critics Association press tour, which is having its most-awaited session -- the one with NBC execs -- right now. New Jersey Star-Ledger critic Alan Sepinwall just revealed that NBC honcho Jeff Gaspin said that the last 10 PM episode of "The Jay Leno Show" will air on Feb. 12, right before the Olympics begin. (I'm guessing the program won't end with an appearance by all of the staffers' babies born during the show's run, as Leno's "Tonight" did.)

While Leno show "performed to our expectations, it did not meet our affiliates' needs," said Gaspin, as quoted by Sepinwall. "He has proposed Leno Show at 11:35, Conan's Tonight at 12:05, Late Night w/Fallon at 1:05, but 'talks are still ongoing.'"

Daniel Fienberg, who is live-blogging the NBC session, adds that "
Gaspin says that he hopes the late night situation will be clarified by the start of the Olympics."

"Look, I would have liked nothing more than to give this a 52-week try," Gaspin told the critics. The issue was not with NBC, but with its affiliates. Writes Fienberg: "He claims affiliates started complaining in early November, that some affiliates fell from No. 1 to No. 3 in news ratings largely because of Leno. He emphasizes that 'The Jay Leno Show' did better in December, often coming in second. But the smaller affiliates started getting November numbers and in the middle of December, the drum-beating began, along with 'the possibility of preemption.'"

As for Conan, Gaspin said it was "a fluid situation" and "everybody has the weekend to think about it."

Sepinwall quotes Gaspin as saying that viewers didn't avoid Leno "because of the quality of the show or what the show was." "There were just so many other choices (at 10) that people thought were better."

What will replace Jay at 10? Initially, at least, expect a couple of dramas and plenty of "Dateline."


  1. Anonymous said...

    << Sepinwall quotes Gaspin as saying that viewers didn't avoid Leno "because of the quality of the show or what the show was." >>

    Uh, no...viewers DID avoid Leno because of the quality of the show.

    - Octobrain

  2. Anonymous said...

    I just read an article in, which says that conan is very disappointed and planning to move to another network.
    you know what-- i agree with conan---its been only 6 months and they wanna kick him out. the person to blame for this is leno and leno only--because when he was at 11:35 pm, he could have said no, when they wanted to move him to 10 or move to another network. but he moved to 10 and now when his show sucks--he says its not my fault. remember conan waited 5 years to get this job. and now after 6 months u tell your loyal employee to move back to midnight.
    Fuck u NBC and Most of all Leno.
    I think conan should give these people a figer and move to fox.

  3. Anonymous said...

    The brass at NBC are such fools. Here they spent all that money to put those "10"s on stage. What will they do with them now? And will they now have to buy "30"s for Leno's new half hour show?

  4. Talk Show News said...

    That's a good question, since there was a lot of money & effort put into building both sets. And remember, if Conan leaves NBC, Jay will wind up doing the full 60-minute "Tonight Show" again. Not sure if they'd retool "The Jay Leno Show" studio for that.

  5. Anonymous said...

    What a mess. Poor Conan. He should move to another network and then he & Dave can crush Leno in the ratings.

  6. Matt said...

    Well, if they were to keep him at all they were right in making it a half hour. Hopefully there won't be as much filler and he'll have to concentrate on just the funniest stuff. Which I personally find to be very little.

    As for the time slot, they were pretty much screwed in that department. The idea is to get a drama at 10 to lead into the news, so earlier speculation of a half hour at 11 is bunk. I think it's a major injustice to Conan and I'm sure he does to, but I don't think he's going to move at all. He'll just keep doing as mommy NBC says.

    What everybody should be wondering now is how well the local news and Leno do after the shift. My guess is that the news gets a slight bump with expectations it'll rise later and Leno's show will still not do very well.

    Also, I like how NBC is totally putting the blame on the affiliates.

  7. Anonymous said...

    I believe the last Jay Leno Show will be Thursday 2/11. The Olympics opening ceremonies take over NBC on Friday 2/12.

  8. floretbroccoli said...

    What really bugs me is that you really CANNOT compare Conan's ratings with Leno's.

    Jay Leno didn't have the lousy lead-in of the Jay Leno show.