01.11.10

Late Night Wars

Posted in January 2010 at 6:36 pm by The Layman

NBC wilted from the force of the rising crescendo of howls from its affiliates and pulled the plug on the great Leno Experiment, announcing proposed lineup changes that would move Leno back to the 11:35 PM time slot and bump Conan O’Brien’s “Tonight” show thirty minutes to 12:05 AM.  Apparently, NBC executives are now left waiting with baited breath while Leno and O’Brien mull over their options.

I am not shedding any tears for O’Brien. He muscled NBC to dislodge Leno from his throne, and now it’s blowing up in his face. Plus, he is unfunny to boot (but not as unfunny as the dreadful Jimmy Fallon). I tried to watch O’Brien’s show during its premiere. After watching him pause after every word to let the studio audience hoot and holler over his supposed “genius,” I had enough and turned the channel. O’Brien should just move to Fox and start with a clean slate.

I an not shedding any tears for Leno either. What goes around comes around, even if it takes almost 20 years after he muscled NBC to dislodge the late, great Johnny Carson. Leno, of all people, should have known that transitions in late night don’t occur without some bloodletting. He should have walked when NBC, cowed by O’Brien’s demands, yanked him from the “Tonight” show, although I don’t blame him now for sticking around and trying to get as much money as he can from the NBC Suits.

Speaking of the Suits, I thought TV executives were supposed to be some of the smartest people walking the Earth. The evidence appears to suggest otherwise.   Do you mean to tell me that an M.B.A. from a top-tier school does not guarantee TV programming genius??

Besides, who really watches TV anymore? TV is just something people have on in the background while they play Farmville and trade insults and catch up with their friends on Facebook.