Wednesday, March 20, 2013

LOCK LENO IN THE CLOSET. AND LEAVE HIM THERE:  For the third time in the past twenty years, NBC seems serious about replacing Jay Leno with the funnier guy in the 12:30am slot.  While he remains atop the ratings (overall and in 18-49s), Leno's current deal expires in fall 2014, and, gosh, never seen this sentence before: "Given the past turbulence involved in changing hosts, NBC wants to make the transition ... as smooth as possible."


  1. 1. Letterman and Ferguson's contracts are also up in 2014, which makes this even more of a mess. Ferguson allegedly has a "heir to the throne" clause in his contract, but who doesn't think CBS wouldn't jump at the idea of hiring Leno (who's a solid fit with their primetime demographics) if he'd do it? (Colbert's contract is up at the end of 2014, and Stewart's up in mid-2015, though he may have had to renegotiate for his directing hiatus.)

    2. Person who's got to be sweating bullets right now? Arsenio Hall. He and his syndicators have put a lot of money and have already started promoting his own syndicated show premiering next fall, and there's a decent chance Leno's going to seek to go syndicated. (There's no circumstance, based on everything we've read, that Leno goes gentle into that good night, right?)

  2. Another thought--one reason NBC may be looking to do this is that the prospects for Leno going syndicated are lower now than they were before. Last time this happened, for Leno to go syndicated, what he would have been pushing out on the mostly Fox and CW affiliates that might be looking to fill the 11 o'clock timeslot was Seinfeld reruns, which were starting to flag in the ratings and were coming up on a contract renewal. They were prepared to look at another option.

    Now, many of those stations have signed big, expensive deals for Big Bang Theory repeats, which get gangbusters ratings and which they're committed to for a long haul. They may not be interested in an alternative at this point. (Modern Family also hits syndication in the fall, and that has potential to do quite well too.)

  3. ChrisJisamoron3:18 PM

    Pass the popcorn.

  4. ChrisJisamoron3:20 PM

    For the second time in his career, Arsenio picked the absolute worst time to launch what would normally be a pretty decent late-night chat show.

  5. girard314:20 PM

    The fact that NBC is even raising this specter publicly again is evident of their desire to control everything and appease everyone, which is impossible.

    It's also why none of their prime time programs could beat "Talking Dead", let alone "Walking Dead".

  6. ruzzel014:35 AM

    Let's what result may come. cabinet doors