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NBC: let's see how low we can go (Conan thread, part 2)

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NBC: let's see how low we can go (Conan thread, part 2)

Old 01-29-10, 09:58 AM
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Re: NBC: let's see how low we can go (Conan thread, part 2)

I know Oprah brought up a lot of the points we have been making, but I didn't see the whole show. Did she mention the fact that Jay was given years on the number one network to build his audience, while Conan only had 7 months on the fourth place network? What was his response?
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Old 01-29-10, 10:06 AM
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Re: NBC: let's see how low we can go (Conan thread, part 2)

Originally Posted by Double_Oh_7 View Post
I know Oprah brought up a lot of the points we have been making, but I didn't see the whole show. Did she mention the fact that Jay was given years on the number one network to build his audience, while Conan only had 7 months on the fourth place network? What was his response?
No, she really didn't. She asked some good questions, but Leno didn't really answer most of the really good questions in-depth. Then about 2/3 of the way through the interview, Oprah admitted she was behind Jay on this one, and the entire demeanor of the interview changed. You could tell Leno was no longer on the defensive, but rather talking to a "pal."

Leno came off as quite a victim and "thrown about" by the network...but anyone who has been following this knows that there is more to the story. And Oprah never pressed him on the fact that Conan's ratings were bad BECAUSE of his lead-in. He must have focused on Conan's bad ratings in about 5 questions as the reason Conan is gone.
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Old 01-29-10, 10:35 AM
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Re: NBC: let's see how low we can go (Conan thread, part 2)

At least Leno finally admitted he didn't want to retire in 2004 when Conan was given his job. Too bad he was too much of a pussy to man up and tell NBC he didn't want to leave the job.
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Old 01-29-10, 11:32 AM
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Re: NBC: let's see how low we can go (Conan thread, part 2)

Originally Posted by Deftones View Post
At least Leno finally admitted he didn't want to retire in 2004 when Conan was given his job. Too bad he was too much of a pussy to man up and tell NBC he didn't want to leave the job.

He obviously told NBC he didn't want to leave. NBC still wanted to keep Conan at the time and were prepared to get rid of Jay.

Conan is the whawha for not being able to take an ego hit and move back a 1/2 hour to 12:05. Damaging the legacy of the Tonight Show my ass lol.
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Old 01-29-10, 11:36 AM
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Re: NBC: let's see how low we can go (Conan thread, part 2)

Originally Posted by nightwing82 View Post
He obviously told NBC he didn't want to leave. NBC still wanted to keep Conan at the time and were prepared to get rid of Jay.

Conan is the whawha for not being able to take an ego hit and move back a 1/2 hour to 12:05. Damaging the legacy of the Tonight Show my ass lol.
obviously? i didn't realize you were involved in the negotiations.
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Old 01-29-10, 11:41 AM
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Re: NBC: let's see how low we can go (Conan thread, part 2)

Originally Posted by JuryDuty View Post
And Oprah never pressed him on the fact that Conan's ratings were bad BECAUSE of his lead-in.


Allow me to rephrase that...

"Conan's bad ratings weren't helped by Leno's bad ratings".

People very much could have changed the channel you know, or are you just calling everybody stupid because the ones who don't watch Leno, won't watch Conan?

Last edited by Luds; 01-29-10 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 01-29-10, 11:42 AM
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Re: NBC: let's see how low we can go (Conan thread, part 2)

Originally Posted by nightwing82 View Post
He obviously told NBC he didn't want to leave. NBC still wanted to keep Conan at the time and were prepared to get rid of Jay.

Conan is the whawha for not being able to take an ego hit and move back a 1/2 hour to 12:05. Damaging the legacy of the Tonight Show my ass lol.
On what basis can you say they were ready to get rid of Jay?
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Old 01-29-10, 11:44 AM
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Re: NBC: let's see how low we can go (Conan thread, part 2)

Jay never misses work, didn't allow guest hosts, and now after being removed as host of the Tonight Show he is back in that very spot. Do you seriously think he said to NBC in 2004 "Ok" when they told him they wanted to replace him with Conan in 2009? Bull. NBC told Jay he was out and obviously (there's that word again) he said he was "retiring" on air because he couldn't go on and say "NBC has just forced me out of the Tonight Show and will replace me with Conan in 2009 against my will!" Like Jay said on Oprah, it was a little white lie.
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Old 01-29-10, 11:45 AM
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Re: NBC: let's see how low we can go (Conan thread, part 2)

Originally Posted by Nefarious View Post
On what basis can you say they were ready to get rid of Jay?
Because in 2004 they were. They told him he is out, Conan is in for 2009. It wasn't until after Jay was still #1 did NBC change their mind and not want to let Jay move to another network.

Conan, I am sure, fought to get NBC to sign him up for the Tonight Show. That is no different than Jay fighting to stay host of the Tonight Show in my mind. In the end, Conan lost and Jay won. It is a tv show, time to move on (watch or don't watch).
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Old 01-29-10, 11:59 AM
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Re: NBC: let's see how low we can go (Conan thread, part 2)

Originally Posted by nightwing82 View Post
NBC told Jay he was out and obviously (there's that word again) he said he was "retiring" on air because he couldn't go on and say "NBC has just forced me out of the Tonight Show and will replace me with Conan in 2009 against my will!"
Why not? Conan made a public statement that NBC wanted to move his timeslot against his will, and it garnered him a lot of sympathy, and good ratings.

If Leno had made his "true" feelings public back then, that he didn't want to give up the Tonight Show and that'd he'd be looking for another talk show job if he couldn't keep the Tonight Show, he may have garnered some sympathy back then, and his current decisions wouldn't seem like back-stabbing.
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Old 01-29-10, 12:06 PM
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Re: NBC: let's see how low we can go (Conan thread, part 2)

Originally Posted by nightwing82 View Post
He obviously told NBC he didn't want to leave. NBC still wanted to keep Conan at the time and were prepared to get rid of Jay.

Conan is the whawha for not being able to take an ego hit and move back a 1/2 hour to 12:05. Damaging the legacy of the Tonight Show my ass lol.
Originally Posted by nightwing82 View Post
Because in 2004 they were. They told him he is out, Conan is in for 2009. It wasn't until after Jay was still #1 did NBC change their mind and not want to let Jay move to another network.

Conan, I am sure, fought to get NBC to sign him up for the Tonight Show. That is no different than Jay fighting to stay host of the Tonight Show in my mind. In the end, Conan lost and Jay won. It is a tv show, time to move on (watch or don't watch).
You make a TON of assumptions for something you (and the rest of us, for that matter) have no inside knowledge of whatsoever.

Oh wait... I forgot... Internet.
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Old 01-29-10, 12:19 PM
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Re: NBC: let's see how low we can go (Conan thread, part 2)

Originally Posted by Hokeyboy View Post
You make a TON of assumptions for something you (and the rest of us, for that matter) have no inside knowledge of whatsoever.

Oh wait... I forgot... Internet.
You say that because I am not defending Conan and have taken Jay's side in a general sense. If I was assuming things of why Conan is Jesus come to save TSS from boring Jay if he was just given more time, then I'd get the applause.

I'm not allowed to believe whatever Jay, NBC says, etc. -- but it's ok to faithfully believe anything Conan writes up and says? I don't think so! Like Leno (oh that evil man!) said on Oprah, the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle.

This makes the most sense to me after reading everything here/there/everywhere about this whole situation: Conan was fighting for TSS and threatening to go to another network and complete against Leno/Letterman. NBC tells Leno he is out in 2009. Leno tries to keep TSS, NBC says no, thinking Leno will slip in the ratings by then anyway.

Leno stays #1 and Leno asks NBC to let him out of his contract (since they ended Leno's run on TSS before his contract expired). NBC says no we want to keep you and not have you now go somewhere and complete against Conan/Letterman. Leno signs on for the 10pm show because Leno still wants to be on TV and they threw all that money at him and he could keep his staff.

Both Leno and Conan's new shows suck. Leno isn't doing well at 10pm and Conan's audience from Late Night didn't follow him enough. NBC gets further in the hole of their already dying network. They say hey we can have the best of both worlds... we'll put Leno on again before Conan and reunite the dream team. Leno says OK because Leno still wants to be on TV. Conan says no because he doesn't want to move for the Leno.

NBC gets what it ultimately wants, Leno back on TSS, something they could have done by just letting Conan go and not giving him TSS in the first place.

That is how it plays out in my mind. Jay doesn't want to leave TSS, Conan desparately wanted TSS. NBC had no idea how to manage any of it.
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Old 01-29-10, 12:33 PM
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Re: NBC: let's see how low we can go (Conan thread, part 2)

Originally Posted by nightwing82 View Post
Jay never misses work, didn't allow guest hosts, and now after being removed as host of the Tonight Show he is back in that very spot. Do you seriously think he said to NBC in 2004 "Ok" when they told him they wanted to replace him with Conan in 2009? Bull. NBC told Jay he was out and obviously (there's that word again) he said he was "retiring" on air because he couldn't go on and say "NBC has just forced me out of the Tonight Show and will replace me with Conan in 2009 against my will!" Like Jay said on Oprah, it was a little white lie.

oh, i get it. someone needs a refresher on assumptions and facts.
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Old 01-29-10, 12:33 PM
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Re: NBC: let's see how low we can go (Conan thread, part 2)

Originally Posted by nightwing82 View Post
That is how it plays out in my mind.
All of that speculation is really meaningless. What we know for sure is that Conan has been up front, consistent, and principled in regard to his desire to host and continue hosting the Tonight Show. Jay Leno has not (especially if all of your speculation is true, since it's not consistent with Leno's own account of the events). It's really that simple.

Obviously both men have a desire to be the host and were willing to "fight" for it, to use your term. The distinction comes in the way they've each gone about it.
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Old 01-29-10, 12:35 PM
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Re: NBC: let's see how low we can go (Conan thread, part 2)

Originally Posted by nightwing82 View Post
Leno stays #1 and Leno asks NBC to let him out of his contract (since they ended Leno's run on TSS before his contract expired).
Leno's 2004 contract was up in 2009. Some places reported the the contract was "through 2009," but I don't think it's known when the exact end date of the contract was.

Unless NBC was really stupid, it doesn't seem likely that they would've promised Conan, 6 months after signing Leno's contract, that Conan would start hosting The Tonight Show before Leno's contract expired.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/...in609384.shtml
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/27/bu...28CND-NBC.html
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6115643/
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...2004Sep27.html
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Old 01-29-10, 12:58 PM
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Re: NBC: let's see how low we can go (Conan thread, part 2)

NBC is the real reason all of this mess happened because they wanted to have their cake and eat it, too. But there are parts of the Oprah interview where I felt Jay was very disingenuous. I had the feeling that Jay harbored a lot of bitterness about his ousting 2004 and that lead him to this moment, where it seems that there was a lot of thought put into the leverage he had with NBC. I don't believe for a second regarding the post interview where Oprah says Jay had no power. He most certainly did. And he certainly knew he did with his $150M guarantee that he could make NBC bend over. I don't think Leno signs on at 10pm because he wants to remain on tv, I felt it was all a plan of Jay to sabotage a network and forcing them to put him back where he wanted to be. He's not an idiot. He's shrewd, conniving and was going to stick it to the network that fucked him, at the expense of a lot of shows.

Conan had asked, hey, you want to keep me? Fine, but down the line promise me the Tonight Show. NBC made it a good faith gesture and it wasn't like they did it immediately.. all they did was announce it immediately. And yes, the Tonight Show at 11:30-11:35pm is still a late night institution that truly matters in it's particular timeslot. To say moving 30 mins isn't much of anything is like saying, "I'm just gonna put the tip of my pinky in your asshole. It won't hurt much, but guess what, you still got fucked in the ass. Where in the past, no one even rimmed you because your bunghole was sacred."

The interview only made it seem that Jay had 5.5 years to figure out a way to get his ass back in the seat and he succeeded.
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Old 01-29-10, 01:11 PM
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Re: NBC: let's see how low we can go (Conan thread, part 2)

Originally Posted by Luds View Post


Allow me to rephrase that...

"Conan's bad ratings weren't helped by Leno's bad ratings".

People very much could have changed the channel you know, or are you just calling everybody stupid because the ones who don't watch Leno, won't watch Conan?
If lead-ins didn't matter, this drama would not exist since the affiliates wouldn't have felt that Leno was too big a drag on their local news. So you certainly don't have to believe in the effect of the lead-in, but the folks with the power certainly do.

Conan struggled at 11:35, no doubt. Among the reasons:

- Conan is a vastly different host than Leno, and therefore lost many of Leno's viewers
- NBC allowed Leno to basically do what he's done for 17 years, but at 10PM...removing much of the incentive for historical Tonight Show viewers to watch at 11:35
- Leno was underperforming at the 10PM slot in terms of prime time numbers, not late night numbers...so you get the drop from a bad lead-in combined with the drop from cannibalizing the flagship late night show.
- Letterman's scandal

Of course, Conan can shoulder a portion of the blame for ratings, but no one could have expected him to retain and hold the #1 spot in the current late night market within 7 months with Leno at 10. If Conan would have been turned loose and lost 49% ratings without Leno doing basically the Tonight Show an hour and a half earlier, then maybe we could talk about whether this was entirely on Conan's shoulders.
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Old 01-29-10, 01:17 PM
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Re: NBC: let's see how low we can go (Conan thread, part 2)

The other problem with Jay's whole statement is about the "little white lie" of retiring. It would be one thing if he came out at the time and said that Conan was going to take over the show and he was going to retire (and lie about the retiring part).

It's a whole other thing to have said what he said, which was that this was all good and Conan's great and he doesn't want the bad blood, animosity, and all the crap that went with the previous transition.
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Old 01-29-10, 03:22 PM
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Re: NBC: let's see how low we can go (Conan thread, part 2)

Jimmy Kimmel's response to Leno saying Kimmel "suckerpunched" him on the 10 at 10...

http://www.motionbox.com/videos/4c97dabf1017e2c7c3
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Old 01-29-10, 03:36 PM
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Re: NBC: let's see how low we can go (Conan thread, part 2)

Let's remember that Conan was on the air for 3 months before Jay's show debut, and his ratings stunk then too, so the lead-in theory doesn't wash.

NBC, no question had a short leash for Conan, but if ratings are the be-all end-all, then shit like this happens.

ABC cancels shows after 1 episode. Not that late nite talk shows are on the same plane, but ratings ultimately rule.

Again, dont cry for Conan. He got an 'out of this world' settlement, and he got monies for his crew too. This is fantasy land settlements. People with 'real jobs' generally dont get squat.
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Old 01-29-10, 03:38 PM
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Re: NBC: let's see how low we can go (Conan thread, part 2)

Originally Posted by siddd5 View Post
Let's remember that Conan was on the air for 3 months before Jay's show debut, and his ratings stunk then too, so the lead-in theory doesn't wash.

NBC, no question had a short leash for Conan, but if ratings are the be-all end-all, then shit like this happens.

ABC cancels shows after 1 episode. Not that late nite talk shows are on the same plane, but ratings ultimately rule.

Again, dont cry for Conan. He got an 'out of this world' settlement, and he got monies for his crew too. This is fantasy land settlements. People with 'real jobs' generally dont get squat.
No one is crying for Conan. But he got jobbed, plain and simple.
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Old 01-29-10, 03:55 PM
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Re: NBC: let's see how low we can go (Conan thread, part 2)

Originally Posted by JuryDuty View Post
Jimmy Kimmel's response to Leno saying Kimmel "suckerpunched" him on the 10 at 10...

http://www.motionbox.com/videos/4c97dabf1017e2c7c3
"Jay used to be a comedian."
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Old 01-29-10, 03:57 PM
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Re: NBC: let's see how low we can go (Conan thread, part 2)

does anybody know what Conan's ratings were like on the Tonight Show?
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Old 01-29-10, 04:01 PM
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Re: NBC: let's see how low we can go (Conan thread, part 2)

Originally Posted by aintnosin View Post
"Jay used to be a comedian."

I'm starting to like Jimmy more and more.
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Old 01-29-10, 04:12 PM
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Re: NBC: let's see how low we can go (Conan thread, part 2)

Originally Posted by siddd5 View Post
Let's remember that Conan was on the air for 3 months before Jay's show debut, and his ratings stunk then too, so the lead-in theory doesn't wash.
Oh jesus. No one is saying it's the only reason, for crying out loud. He was a new host, and just like Jay, he lost viewers when he took over. When you combine that with Jay's performance and show format, and the Letterman fiasco, he was clearly hurt by things beyond his own performance. His biggest ratings drop is completely in line with those two things.
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