Posted by: Greg | January 12, 2010

Conan the Defiant

Now, I will be the first to admit, I don’t watch The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien or Jay Leno’s new show…er, cancelled show.  I find this a useful first statement simply because I have no preference and this gives the reader the appearance that I am impartial, which I am.  Also, my bedtime is around 10 and I am not awake to watch either show.  I’m way out of the loop! What I can add to the growing entertainment snafu over Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien is blame.   Yes, I said it.   BLAME.   And to follow-up the blame game I will throw down some shame.

My knowledge of The Tonight Show comes from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader.  I would recommend reading it…I think it is better than Wikipedia’s article on it.  I know that there have been five hosts Steve Allen, Jack Paar, Johnny Carson, Jay Leno, and now Conan.  I know this is a nighttime television staple for over 45 years.  (I do not know the exact number off the top of my head!)  What I don’t completely understand is the new plan set forth by NBC which is causing all the problems.

If anyone is upset by this totally inane plan, which is really a grasping at straws moment, blame NBC first.  The past couple years of no “Must See TV” shows created the hole which brought about Jay Leno’s show.  It was a great idea, but is not what made the broadcast behemoth famous.  If you think about it further, NBC, by putting Leno on at 10, cut out about 4 to 5 new show possibilities, probably dramas up there with ER.  But instead we are here.   Hey, congrats NBC you saved some money and don’t have to worry about cancelling shows!  Now, that idea came around and bit you in the bum.  With Jay Leno’s show not doing very well, and affiliates threatening to have other programming on at that time, NBC is left in an awkward situation.  They need to get 4 to 5 new shows up and running to fill the vacant time slot.  NBC if you had stuck with what made you famous in the first place this could have been avoided.  So, I lay the blame on you first for creating the situation.  (Oh, and if you want something to fill in the gap and bring you some money, talk with Vivendi Universal closely and politely ask them to run Battlestar Galactica!  I think a few more people would watch that while you get new shows set up and running!!!)

Next up for some blame is Jay Leno.  You might be a real stand up guy and mean well, but it doesn’t come across that way.  I don’t know if you find it necessary to keep your NBC money flowing but if your show gets  cancelled due to poor ratings go with the flow.   I think you met with some NBC folks and held them to their contractual obligations you set up and coerced them into keeping you on somehow.  The result of this strong-arm, or coercion, tactic is the current plan from NBC.  Be a better man and put your ego aside.  You retired and handed the reins of The Tonight Show over to Conan.  Tell NBC to put you in a different spot.  Don’t mess up a night-time tradition for people because you want to be on tv or can’t handle the fact your show was doing poorly.   You’ve been on NBC long enough.  Retire and have fun with your cars.

Shame on NBC for caving into Jay Leno’s pressure, their inability to get new shows up and running, and for coming up with an idiotic plan.

Shame on Jay Leno for trying to stay in the spotlight despite low ratings pointing out the obvious and for strong arming NBC into keeping you in primtime.  Do like Seinfeld and leave peacefully and make special appearances, we the viewers will love it.

Back off Jay!

Conan, we the people of Earth, thank you for your defiant stand.  Do not let this happen.  I won’t be able to stay up and watch your show, my bed is too comfortable, but in spirit I support you and your team.  As an aspiring writer I applaud your work and thank you for showing that goofy looking guys with senses of humor can make it in the world!



  1. Two of my favorite tall funny dudes in one post. 😉

    But seriously, well put. NBC is digging themselves a deep, deep grave.

    Go CoCo!

  2. I love how your crafted an entire blog around getting Battlestar Galactica on television. Trust me the thesis only moved down the page, it didn’t go away.

    • You act like this is a bad thing! Besides BSG is over and would be in syndication. There are only so many shows they could run. I think Conan would approve of such a move. By using BSG in the 10pm slot you bring in the younger crowd. Conan and NBC benefit, greatly improving their faltering relationship. Conan already has a large following in the younger demographic compared with Jay. Also, the people that followed BSG are the same people watching The Office, Heroes, 30 Rock, and Parks & Recreation. By benefitting the two main players of the group, Jay still leaves, and Conan and The Tonight Show keep their 11:35pm time slot.

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