Saturday, January 16, 2010

The NBC Controversy . . .

Over the past week the problems at NBC regarding the ousting of Conan O'Brien from his nightly show in the 11:35 PM time slot because of Jay Leno's failure to garner viewers in the 10:00 PM slot has been all over the news.  I can honestly say I don't understand why Jay would want to go back to the 11:30 PM show - even for the large amount of money being offered to him (Leno is reportedly paid $20 - $30 million per year, based on ratings).  Is it ever enough for some of these celebrities? 

Leno has been hosting The Tonight Show since 1992 when Johnny Carson stepped down, and filled in for Carson many times in the period between 1987 and 1992.   He began his career in comedy in 1973 when he was a college student in Boston.  Now, some 37 years later, he is not ready to give it up.

One would think that at age 60, after 30 odd years working hard to achieve fame and fortune, Leno would finally say "I have enough - I want to retire".  But no!  I guess a net worth of $32 million dollars, a collection of over 80 classic, rare cars, 80 motorcycles, a fire engine and a facility to hold all these toys that measures the areas of three football fields is not enough.

To take the peacock's point of view for a minute, NBC is playing a numbers game in showing their loyalty to Leno.  It is reported that Leno has brought over $1 billion in revenues to the network since he began hosting The Tonight Show in 1992.  Unfortunately, NBC is losing a great talent with Conan O'Brien.  Being 13 years younger than Jay, he reaches a different demographic and would have stayed in the position longer (who will want to watch a 70 year old Jay Leno - his peers will all be asleep at 9:00 PM and will have no interest in watching his show!).

And I guess I will not be missing anything good by falling asleep early on weeknights!

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