Friday, January 15, 2010

My Thoughts On The Tonight Show Controversy.

It looks like they're getting ready to strike the set on Conan O'Brien's tenure with the Tonight Show. Word is that a deal to pay O'Brien off so that they can stick Jay Leno back into the chair is imminent. It's certainly not a tragedy on the scale of the Haitian earthquake crisis, but the whole thing is incredibly disappointing for Tonight Show fans.

The problem here is that NBC tried to have their cake and eat it too. After promising to give O'Brien the Tonight Show five years ago, NBC got cold feet about potentially letting Leno go to another network where he could eat away at their ratings. In order to stave that off, the idiots in charge at NBC put Leno on during prime time. People over 50 were happy with the move because that meant that they could go to bed earlier. Unfortunately, the folks who are awake at that hour realized how un-funny Leno and were staying away in droves. This pissed off the local affiliates because their lead-in to their local news programs was deader than Leno's audience. So, in yet another brilliant move, NBC decides to push Leno back to his original time slot and put the Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien on a half hour later. Conan was having none of that.

It's easy to show integrity when you're in a lose/lose situation. It's the only option you've got if you want to save face, Still, Conan's insistence that he won't allow NBC to ruin the Tonight Show "brand" by changing its time slot shows a lot of class. Leno's excuse that he's a company man and he's only doing what his bosses tell him, at best, show's that he has no spine. If the guy had any integrity, he'd walk away rather than allow NBC to dig themselves deeper into the hole. You see, a true "company man" does what's best for the company, not what the company tells him to do. And it's not like Jay needs the money.

How ever this situation is resolved, it won't amount to much in the world. What we've got here are people arguing over million dollar contracts and they are all getting their share of the payola one way or another. I wish I had their problems.

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