January 14th, 2010 at 6:42 PM ^

by NBC again... first they screw over letterman and now conan... there was always something fishy about NBC putting leno back on at 10pm... but in all honesty conans humor was always going to tough tell sell for that time slot...


January 14th, 2010 at 7:09 PM ^

Do not forget that NBC kind of put the screws to Leno as well, pushing him out while he was still #1 in the ratings, and not exactly asking to be bumped to the lesser-desired time slot.

From my understanding, several years ago when Conan's contract was up with NBC and he was considering going to another network, part of the deal that NBC struck with him was that in 2009, he would be given the Tonight Show gig, otherwise he would be free to leave NBC and would also be owed either 40 or 50 million dollars in severance (I have heard both figures).

It seems as if the NBC execs were betting that Leno would ready to hang it up by 2009, but that didn't happen. It should also be made clear that while Leno was gracious about giving up the Tonight Show spot, he was not necessarily happy about it.

I would hate to see Leno (or Conan for that matter) bashed over this situation. To me, it was the execs at NBC bungling the situation that caused the trainwreck that is currently going on. In '05 they made a deal with Conan that painted them into a corner, and in '09 when that corner started getting tight, they got greedy and wanted to save the millions they would owe Conan if they didn't give him the Tonight Show, and they made what appears to be a mistake by taking Leno off the Tonight Show in the first place.


January 14th, 2010 at 7:28 PM ^

Why is that?
Listen to his peers in comedy and what they think of him.
While Leno plays nice on camera and while shaking hands at the start of his show he has always been a coniving, backstabbing, self-serving dick. Look at how he got The Tonight Show over Dave (who Carson wanted to be his successor) in the first place.
A leopard doesn't change his spots...


January 14th, 2010 at 10:20 PM ^

then you vastly underestimate the execs at NBC. That is one heck of an effort to ratchet up the 10 slot, while putting Conan in a position to succeed AND saving 50 mill. Worst case scenario, it doesn't work out, and this happens. So they held onto Conan for another 4 or 5 years and owe nada.


January 15th, 2010 at 11:50 AM ^

I thought the statement on Conan's part that he didn't want to contribute to the Tonight Show's downfall and that he didn't want to damage what Jimmy Fallon had going on showed class on his part. Even if his bottom line is "Tonight Show at 11:30 PM or the highway", it sounds better than the lack of such statement coming from Leno. It reminds me of Letterman shutting down negotiations with ABC in deference to Nightline.

Ultimate Quizmaster

January 14th, 2010 at 9:46 PM ^

Now if he could have just generated such ratings without NBC breathing on him, there wouldn't be an issue. But I do think they should have given him more time. Though if it didn't work out, they would have lost a lot of revenue. And I don't think his ratings would have gone up too much unless they shifted the lineup around.


January 14th, 2010 at 6:53 PM ^

Conan has been funnier this week. I like The Tonight Show with Conan, but I think his 12:30 show was better. Wherever he lands next, I hope it is more like his old show.


January 14th, 2010 at 7:12 PM ^

I'd like to hear what Triumph the Insult Comic Dog has to say on this subject...other than the obvious "NBC Executives and Jay Leno are fabulous people.........For me to poop on!"

Seriously though, Leno is about as funny as a brick wall. And that's being generous.


January 14th, 2010 at 7:18 PM ^

Son of a bitch. He was still getting into his rhythm as the Tonight Show host. And this week has been pure comedy gold. I honestly wouldn't be that surprised if it was all fake and being used to up the ratings, but it doesn't seem that way. Hopefully he takes the Cone-Zone to a station that appreciates him.

Yinka Double Dare

January 14th, 2010 at 8:27 PM ^

NBC will try to use ratings as justification but:

1) Leno's ratings were awful for at least a year after he took over for Carson; Letterman routinely beat him in the ratings. It took a few years before Leno passed Letterman.

2) Conan has won the 18-45 demographic nine out of the last 11 weeks in his time slot. He's winning the most lucrative demographic for advertising dollars.

Screw NBC and screw Leno (how he got the Tonight Show was rotten -- there's a reason Carson refused to appear on Leno's show). I'd be tempted to get tickets to Leno's shows when he comes back after the Olympics to boo and chant for Conan. I hope a lot of people in fact do that.


January 14th, 2010 at 9:29 PM ^

What I learned is that Jerry Seinfeld is a dick.

He came out earlier inthe week telling Conan to man up and not complain and be real and all that. Seemed unseemly when you consider his own show didn't come out of the ratings gate blazing. Now it comes out NBC is planning to fill the 10 slot with a show of his. How self-serving and two-faced can you get?


January 14th, 2010 at 9:31 PM ^

I fired off an e-mail to Jeff Zucker (NBC's CEO and the douchebag behind this mess)telling him what an unconscionable asshat he is, and then followed it with an e-mail to Comcast's CEO (Zucker's soon to be boss) and urged that Zucker be fired as soon as Comcast completes the purchase of NBC.

Ultimate Quizmaster

January 14th, 2010 at 9:34 PM ^

Does it matter that much? Both are grown men in the entertainment business, and both will land on their feet. I wouldn't mind watching Leno/Conan on Fox or NBC or whatever. Sending hate mail to NBC defending person X and bashing X is pointless because you don't know what the real deal is. Few of us do.

Ultimate Quizmaster

January 14th, 2010 at 9:42 PM ^

IMO Jay is the better stand up comic, the man just knows how to tell jokes. Conan is a great improv comic and engages the audience well. I hope something works out well. Conan should step back and not make a rash decision to leave. I'm sure there's a way both can be appeased.

Tim Waymen

January 14th, 2010 at 10:03 PM ^

That shit-pile of a network should be ashamed of itself, but only slightly less ashamed than it should be for signing a contract with Notre Dame (kidding). NBC was probably the best-regarded network in the 90s. Karma has placed it a distant 3rd to ABC and CBS (or perhaps 4th behind Fox as well). Conan was probably the only good thing left about the network, and they promoted him only to completely castrate his show. Brokaw and Carson aren't walking through that door! Cactus chef playing We Didn't Start the Fire on the flute isn't walking through that door!

It's not even about Conan's lower ratings. If it was, then come on, he's only been on the job for 7 months--that's half Lane Kiffin's tenure! Leno is supposed to be "one of the nicest guys in TV" but if that were true he wouldn't be ruining Conan's career. It's Letterman getting screwed all over again, and now we're going to have to suffer through another shitty HBO movie. Have fun with Brian "Sleepy" Williams and Carson "No Talent" Daly. May NBC be the biggest loser of them all.