1. Anonymous says

    Wow. Didn’t have to sit through the rest of 60 Minutes to see this. Thanks!!!

    Ok, my take, on this whole thing, and what prompted me to write more than a simple comment that can be tweeted out is this:

    Conan may believe that he didn’t get screwed, and that’s fine. However, there are those of us that did. Get screwed I mean. Leno IS the bad guy in this whole thing, as originally, he stated he was going to retire when he originally gave the tonight show away.

    As it got closer, he realized that he still wanted to do it, however, they’d already hired Conan to takeover. This started a chain of events, and of course, The Law!!! kicked in, and as you know, whenever that happens, everyone gets screwed.

    NBC can justify their move by saying Conan’s ratings were less than Leno’s. What they forget to mention, is the reason for that was that Leno’s ratings at 10p, were not up to expectations, and as a result, local news ratings at the various affiliate stations were down, to the point where they were stating they were going to change affiliations.

    That’s huge.

    I don’t necessarily know how that works, as I live in a major city, therefore it’s not an option for any network here, as they’re the network. However, it’s my understanding that affiliates sign on for the National feed from whatever network, and back in the days before cable, this was an issue of long term contracts, and who had the best shows, say if you live in Cedar City, Utah (just as an example), your local station there has chosen one of the big three or four, at which point, at 11p, you do your local news. After which at 1130, you go back to broadcasting your network of choice.

    As a result of Leno’s ratings not being up to par, local affiliates like the theoretical one above, threatened to pull the plug as it were, and go somewhere else, the choices being ABC, CBS, or Fox.

    NBC literally pushed the panic and eject button almost at the same time, as Conan mentioned in the interview.

    As a result, me as a viewer of some shows on NBC, although these days, less and less, as it would seem their entire Entertainment division suffers from what we’ll call Leno syndrome, can’t seem to put any good and decent shows on the air, I have been passively boycotting the network and its shows, and actively speaking out to anyone who’ll listen.

    And again, I predicted bad things for NBC back when they made the monumentous decision to be the 5th place network back when they first announced that Leno would have a primetime show. But of course, no one listens to me, except you, my three readers….

    Adjust your expectations accordingly.

    1. Edward Harrison says

      Here’s my take on Conan: I agree with you that Leno is the bad guy but I remember he never wanted this to happen from day one. Leno’s problem is he went along with this extraordinarily BAD succession planning decision by NBC.

      They were thinking, hey, let’s groom Conan to take Leno’s slot so we can continue being as profitable as possible and have a seamless transition. I don’t know what Leno was thinking when he accepted that deal but he did and he should have stuck to it. Somehow, though, he finagled the 10PM slot. But the 10 PM thing was a disaster and Leno was ready to walk. NBC – in all its duplicity – decided it would rather renege on the Conan thing because losing Leno would have been a much larger loss of money. So I come out thinking the whole thing is a mess that was the result of a poorly executed succession plan. Who was the REAL bad guy? Leno, especially if he ASKED for the old job back. But also NBC execs who made a financial decision to pull the plug on Conan that I understand financially but I find troubling on a human level.

      1. Anonymous says

        Exactly, you crystalized my thinking at the time, and my statements now. Leno originally stated he wanted to retire when his contract ended, NBC came up with the succession plan, then as you say, Leno finagled the 10p slot somehow, at which point, NBC rolled over, and played dead. NBC didn’t have to give Leno the time slot, however, they did. Basically, Leno pulled a Brett Favre, and NBC let him do it. I don’t believe Leno specifically asked for his old time-slot, however, the video states that NBC would lose more money if they simply let Leno go, as you state.

        The bigger issue is that TPTB @NBC are so far removed from knowing what their audience wants, that I fear something like this is bound to happen again. Maybe this decision will make financial sense in the long run, however, I’m not watching Leno, and won’t be watching most of what’s broadcast on NBC these days. Will not be watching any new shows they deem worthy next season, as they’ve shown they can’t choose a winner this season, as most of their new shows will go away come Fall.

        Their saving grace is that they also own the USA Cable network, and their original programming their is going great. The better move actually, instead of putting on Leno at 10 at the start of this season, would’ve been to move their cable shows to the network, at which point, we 1) wouldn’t be having this conversation, and more importantly, B) they’d be #1 now….

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