Thursday, June 24, 2010

Late Night Ratings of the Future; Chris Rock Disses Late Night TV on "Howard Stern"

Fox Entertainment president Kevin Reilly predicted yesterday at a "State of the Industry" luncheon that ratings for Conan O'Brien's TBS show will be low. "The decimal will be on the left side of the number, not the right side," said Reilly, quoted on "I worked in cable. The decimal will be on the left... [if O'Brien had wound up at Fox], there would have been an enormous amount of pressure that the decimal was on the right side."

New York magazine blogger Josef Adalian points out that ratings below a 1.0 in the 18-49 demographic are likely in the future for all of the late night talk shows. "For the past two weeks, both Jay Leno and David Letterman have been averaging below a 1.0 in the 18 to 49 demo," writes Adalian. "Last week, Jay earned a 0.9 to Dave's 0.8; two weeks ago, both shows were at a 0.9."

While those numbers may be affected by lighter summer ratings and the NBA playoffs, "during the May [2010] sweeps, without the excitement of a sextortion scandal or Cocogate, Dave managed only a 0.9, and Leno was just barely above a 1.0" -- barely a stone's throw from "The Daily Show" and "Adult Swim"'s 0.8 ratings in the demo.

Meanwhile, links to a rant by Chris Rock about the late night wars. Appearing on "The Howard Stern Show," a very uncensored Rock gave his thoughts on Conan, George Lopez, Jay Leno and late night TV in general:

"Conan was screwed by his management and his agent. When I play Madison Square Garden, you can't book another comedian three days before me. You can't book anybody for f---in' 40 days on either side. You think when Billy Joel plays the Garden, they book Elton John? So because Conan was awarded this job, he didn't compete to get his job, the people around him don't even have that mentality. The moment they said Leno's going to 10 they're supposed to go, 'Are you f---in' crazy?' His people are supposed to do that. Conan's people are so not in show business. That was the dumbest thing I ever heard in my life... Is Conan not f---ing over George Lopez? There is no such thing as 'The Tonight Show.' It's just f---in' 11:30 at NBC. That's all it is.

"I'll go even further. There's no such thing as late night television. All these shows are at five o'clock in the f---in' afternoon. Who gives a f--- when you put 'em on? None of these guys are goin' at f---in' 12:30. It's bulls---!"