I admit it. I’m more of a Conan fan. I just relate more to his wacky, unconventional sense of humor. Whether he is addressing the audience as “his babies” in his opening monologue or spontaneously deconstructing a joke and letting us “inside the process,” the guy just flat out cracks me up.
And, as we have known for the past five years, next week he inherits the keys to the late night kingdom, replacing Mr. Chin himself.
No one feels bad for Jay Leno. Next fall he inherits his own show, and right now I’m wondering if this new show will be a colossal mistake for NBC.
Leno will host a new variety-talk show airing five days a week, slotted in the last hour of prime time. Just writing that sentence makes me confused.
For one thing there is the variety aspect of the WEEK-LONG show (sorry, still can’t get over the fact that it will be on every … single … day). Contemporary US variety shows just haven’t worked. They get panned by critics, and more importantly no one watches them. Remember ABC‘s The Nick and Jessica Variety Hour? Of course you don’t.
To be fair, this isn’t Donny & Marie we are talking here. Leno states he’ll be keeping his traditional monologue motif and offering up some of the same ol’ comedy bits he used while on The Tonight Show. But every night do viewers really want to watch a Tonight Show-esqe comedy program shortly before, um, The Tonight Show?
Larry’s blog post from several months back – NBC has become the “House of Bad Ideas” – also points out that viewers tend to change the channel on talk shows after the first half hour, which won’t make local affiliates happy when they don’t have a strong lead-in to their nightly newscasts. Speaking of local affiliates, NBC has already received complaints from affiliate station owners.
Maybe I am wrong. Maybe the new show will result in sizable ratings for the fourth-ranked broadcast network, which is experiencing its lowest ratings ever. But here’s the thing: If Leno’s show fails to deliver the ratings that local affiliates demand, the network will be scrambling to find a replacement for a show that is airing five days a week.
Seems to me the Peacock is putting all its eggs in the wrong basket.