NBC has made some stupid programming decisions over the years. (Keeping ER on the air for 110 years, being one of them.) But putting Jay Leno on at 9 o’clock every night? That was the dumbest of all dumb ideas.
Or so I thought.
Now they want to move Jay back to the 11:30 EST slot and move the TONIGHT Show w/ Conan to the 12:05 EST slot. HUH?
Let’s first address the stupidity of airing the TONIGHT Show at 12:05 AM. It’s no longer the TONIGHT Show if it’s morning.
Then let’s discuss the fact that if it were any other failing show, they would just CANCEL it. God knows they don’t give a show a chance to establish a following. (Studio 60 anyone?) So cancel Jay. Or move him behind Conan. Or just CANCEL HIM. Because seriously, that is the lamest show ever.
So Conan has written a letter saying he’s not going to follow Jay at 12:05.
Here’s an excerpt:
Last Thursday, NBC executives told me they intended to move the Tonight Show to 12:05 to accommodate the Jay Leno Show at 11:35. For 60 years the Tonight Show has aired immediately following the late local news. I sincerely believe that delaying the Tonight Show into the next day to accommodate another comedy program will seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting. The Tonight Show at 12:05 simply isn’t the Tonight Show. Also, if I accept this move I will be knocking the Late Night show, which I inherited from David Letterman and passed on to Jimmy Fallon, out of its long-held time slot. That would hurt the other NBC franchise that I love, and it would be unfair to Jimmy.
So it has come to this: I cannot express in words how much I enjoy hosting this program and what an enormous personal disappointment it is for me to consider losing it. My staff and I have worked unbelievably hard and we are very proud of our contribution to the legacy of The Tonight Show. But I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction. Some people will make the argument that with DVRs and the Internet a time slot doesn’t matter. But with the Tonight Show, I believe nothing could matter more.
You go, boy. I’m behind you 110%. Wherever you go, I will follow.