TIME Magazine Calls Jay Leno the Future of Television (Moment of Silence Please)

jay leno time magazine

Dear James Poniewozik,

I hope you’re happy. And by that I mean, was it really necessary to ruin my holiday weekend by reminding me — on the cover of the the new issue of TIME Magazine no less — that Jay Leno is the future of television.

I mean we’re talking about NBC here. Of course Jay Leno is the future of television. This is after-all the perennial fourth place network that is so desperate for a win, they took it upon themselves to crown Conan O’Brien the new king of late night two weeks into his tenure. The network that we’re fairly confident will import any show from any country in an effort to find the next OFFICE. Heck, over a decade later, NBC President Jeff Zucker, Kevin Reilly, Ben Silverman, Andrea Bromstad is still searching for the next FRIENDS.

That, and you said it yourself, “NBC has set the bar low enough for a sleeping man to clear. If Leno can just get the ratings he did in late night, some 5 million viewers (paltry by 10 p.m. standards), his show will be more profitable than what it replaced in that time slot.”

So yeah, there is pretty much no denying it. Jay Leno is the future of television, at least where NBC is concerned. But to quote Valerie Cherish (Lisa Kudrow’s unforgettable HBO character that would never find a home on the now homogenized NBC) “I don’t need to see that!”

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  • Kris

    I can’t tell you how disgusted with NBC I am over the choice to put Leno on at 10pm. I think they are ruining the prime time TV block. I was a long time watcher of the Tonight Show and eventually the same old tired material got, well, tired. I don’t think he will last two weeks before the ratings are in the tank, similar to Conan. I really hope that ABC and CBS step up to the plate and counter program but I know this is wishful thinking.

  • Nick

    I may be in the minority right now, but I think it was a pretty savvy move by a network that needed to cut costs. You take your #1 asset and put him at a time when more people can see the show….something people don’t have to tune in to often, but will feel “comfortable” with when they do. And it won’t cost much. Who can stay up til 12:30 or 1am anymore and still function at work?

    The new Leno show could easily be the surprise “hit” of the fall. Now it’s up to the other nets to simply counterprogram something better.

  • Nick,

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very savvy move on NBC’s part. But I shudder to think about what happens if it works! Networks are notorious for copying what works (see: reality TV). Jay Leno could spell the beginning of the end for Network TV as we know it.

  • Hil

    If it is the future it paints a grim one.

  • jeffrey bryan

    Nick…. Leno was their number one asset? Really? Wow…

    When 10pm comes I’ll be watching Castle, The Good Wife, Eastwick, The Mentalist, and Private Practice.

  • TVFan

    Count me in as someone who will be finding another home for my TV viewing come 10PM weekdays this fall.

  • Nick

    Jeff, *I* certainly don’t view Leno as NBC’s #1 asset, but I’m sure *they* do. Late-night TV makes lots of dough for networks, or the hosts wouldn’t be paid like kings. The Tonight Show, in particular, has been NBC’s golden egg for many decades.

    Most sane people, of course, feel 30 Rock and The Office are NBC’s #1 assets, but Leno has been around much longer than those sitcoms, and will probably still be on the air long after their first-run ends. The business side of TV is funny.

  • Jen

    If the future of tv is Jay Leno, then I’m putting a key in my eye, (least the pain will be more bareable).

  • Peeps

    Jay rocks.

  • Tim

    Don’t get me started on that. HATE it. I refuse to watch. lol

  • ewanspotter


    Or. You know. Not.

    I think NBC has made some pretty crappy moves, don’t get me wrong. But nevertheless, I enjoy Leno. *shrug* I won’t watch his show much because it doesn’t interest me personally, but I can’t help by like the name himself. He’s an amiable guy who works ridiculously hard. Can’t say the same for a lot of Hollywood.

  • ewanspotter

    *I wish I could type

  • JBDragon

    I know I won’t be watching him!!! I will be tuning into the other Networks though. I don’t HATE HIM like I do David Letterman these days, but I just have no Interest. I don’t think he’s all that funny. I really don’t give a hoot what most all these so called Stars want to talk about on these shows. Most of the Bands on SUCK. Once in a while there’s a Comedian on that I like and so I’ll record the program and then watch it the next day skipping most of the show. There’s other programs I’d just rather see at 10PM. I think this Move will BOMB in the end and He’ll be asking for his old job back or Retire. Not like he doesn’t have Millions already.

  • Ben

    I know it sucks they’re getting rid of all this programming for Jay but you know what I like about it? Not that jay will have his show back but that NBC will have fewer shows. Look at all the cable networks and even to an extent Fox. When you have fewer shows you not only advertise the ones you have more, but you strive to make them better because you have less filler time. Thats what I like about it.

  • Ace

    I get Time magazine for free (my mom has a subscription and they give you a “gift one”). So, I came home from vacation this afternoon to this in my mailbox and threw it away before I walked in the door. I don’t think I would really care about Jay coming on if I weren’t afraid that others will copy it if it succeeds. Also, Chuck isn’t slated to come back until March…what else do I need to say?

  • Personally, I think this is a savvy move on NBC’s part (cost cutting wise) and brings a familiar face to a time period the peacock’s been having a hard time filling.
    Also, it seems like NBC will have shorter seasons, or at the very least fewer reruns because of all the 8-10 shows they have on their schedule waiting to come back. Could make the network very HBO like. Also, like Ben said, fewer shows to promote.
    My take is if Jay says on the network two years, it could build up the other shows up enough to actually make way for ten o’clock again.

  • FML

  • imrighturwrong

    Why does nearly everybody here hate jay leno?
    youre obviously in the minority, if hes been called america’s #1comedian.
    its a good honest variety show that you don’t have to keep following,
    unlike a lot of these hyped pretentious crap comedy shows.
    its worth spending time watching, which is hard to find in most other shows. If you think Leno or Conan have bad style then get over yourself.

  • Jim

    I never watched The Tonight Show. I was a Conan and Letterman fan, but only watched them occasionally on Tivo. Now I watch and enjoy Leno. I think it will be a surprise success. BTW: I love Community! I hope it survives!