Jay Leno Sticks with NBC! We’ve Got Your Winners & Losers

jay leno

With the paper of record breaking the news that NBC has thrown in the towel awarded Jay Leno with a new contract that will keep him with the Peacock Network five times weekly next fall, theTVaddict.com thought we should take the fair and balanced approach by posting both the winners and losers with regards to this landmark deal.

Winner: Jay Leno
Even though this move will mark the beginning of the end for NBC (more on that later), we don’t begrudge Jay Leno one bit. Not only is he one of the hardest working men in Hollywood, by all accounts he is one of the nicest and most genuine as well. We congratulate Jay on this historic move and truly wish him the best of luck.

Loser: The Audience
10 PM on NBC used to mean something special. Yet now, rather than continue to redefine genres in the ways in which HILL STREET BLUES did for the police procedural and ER did for the hospital drama. 10PM will now be the home of Jay’s trademark segments such as “Headlines”, “Jay-walking” and Kevin Eubanks. Must See TV, not so much.

Winner: NBC
You got to hand it to NBC Universal President Jeff Zucker. From a financial and competitive standpoint, this move is a masterstroke. Not only will NBC save hundreds of millions on development and production of pricey shows that have little chance of success. Zucker more importantly gets to keep Jay from jumping ship to ABC (as rumored) and/or Sony and FOX.

Loser: The Audience (Yes, we’re really getting screwed on this one!)
Fans of quality fare such as FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, LIFE and CHUCK best be starting their “Save Our Show” campaigns in 3… 2… 1… Because with five hours less of television to produce per week (17, instead of 22), theTVaddict.com has a pretty good idea which low rated shows will be the first to get the axe.

Winner: Celebrities
Between Conan, Jimmy Fallon’s new show (which you can preview online here) and the ever-expanding gabfest that is the TODAY show, celebrities and musicians alike will now have about 21 hours of television per day to shamelessly promote their next big movie, TV show, fad diet, album and/or latest cause célèbre.

Loser: Conan O’Brien & Rosie O’Donnell
Conan O’Brien waits his entire career to step out of Jay’s shadow and get his shot at the hallowed 11:30PM spot only to be overshadowed by Jay once again. Ouch! Not to mention poor Rosie, who we can’t help but feel cost herself a shot at Jay’s 10PM deal with her trainwreck of a Variety show last month. Double Ouch!

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  • blueberry

    I have to disagree with theTVaddict on this one.

    I actually think a reduction in the hours of prime time tv would benefit the rest of the shows, especially scripted shows. The market is already saturated as it is, and the networks, like NBC, would be able to tolerate not so successful shows since there would be enough wiggle room in the budget. Shows would probably draw more viewers since there would be less shows to choose from.

    Imagine. People being forced to watch a show like Pushing Daisies because there would be less options.

  • Josh Emerson

    Chuck has a much better chance at surviving than either FNL or Life. Even with the DirecTV deal, I don’t see any way FNL is coming back again unless it gets miracle ratings on Friday nights. And Chuck gets about 1.5 million more viewers than Life, plus much higher 18-49 and 18-34 demos.

    Of course, Chuck is one of my favorite shows, so I’m biased. But the numbers at least look good so far. :p

  • This would be more interesting news if it involved a more interesting talk show host. Don’t get me wrong, I also agree that Jay Leno seems like a very nice guy, a very hard worker, and I even admit that he’s a better interviewer than David Letterman.

    But, I respect him more than I am entertained by him. Some of his schtick just seems too corny, and for all the extra work he puts into his monologues (testing out jokes by continuing to do stand up routines), you’d think they’d be funnier. At least David Letterman has a self-depricating sense of humor, so when his stuff bombs, he makes bombing funny. In that respect, he’s much more Johnny Carson-esque than the guy who took over for Carson.

    I just have a hard time imagining the show being on five nights a week in primetime. Even back when NBC had 3 or 4 nights of Dateline NBC, there were still key nights for 10PM dramas. Plus, Dateline wasn’t always on at 10PM anyway. It just smells of desperation after several years of aging drama franchises & limited comedies.

    They want to fill slots with cheap-to-produce material. To save money, they need to become Fox or CW, but to save face, they still want to look like ABC & CBS. They’ve already headed this direction once with the 8PM reality / game show strategy.

    It’ll be the grand experiment. Unless it’s a surprising success, I’m betting Leno will be gradually scaled back to only 2 or 3 times a week. Or if he keeps 5 nights, maybe two of those will become Saturday and Sunday.

  • Patty

    It will be interesting to see how well this does. The only time I watch Leno is for a good guest because I don’t think he is funny. If he keeps with the same schick, it will still not be funny.

    I wonder if this will be the show to get on for celebs? Prime time pimping?

  • John

    The situation for scripted shows is WORSE than you paint.

    Total Hours of Prime Time = 22
    Saturday’s Repeats = -3
    Sunday Football = -4
    Leno at 10:00 M-F = -5
    NBC’s desire for 8:00 to be for reality shows = -5
    Leaves Opportunity for Scrpted Shows = 5

    That is just FIVE hours a week!!!

  • tim w. in tx

    Is this a sign of things to come? Jeez. What’s next? Re-airing the ‘today’ show on week ends or week nights? The N in NBC seems to be ‘no TV broadcasting company. lol With reality tv shows and talk shows, there is little room for scripted tv.

  • David J

    Apparently Leno never heard of going out on top.

  • Mark

    That’s sad. I was really excited to see how Conan did on his own, his show is actually entertaining.

  • NBC has posted Jay’s monologue from tonight’s show:

  • Lori

    I feel terribly sad for Conan. He was really cheated. This will almost certainly set him up for failure, and I can’t help but think that Jay Leno enjoys that. He just couldn’t let Conan have his slot…. sad.

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