Flat Line: Leno’s late night TV show is dead – officially

January 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Late Night

jaylenoshowWell, now it’s official: Jay Leno’s 10PM experiment with NBC is now over, with the station announcing Sunday that further production on the show has been halted, and it will endFeb. 12th, when the Winter Olympics begin. They’re now waiting to hear if Leno and “Tonight” alum Conan O’Brien accept its shuffle of late night airings.

NBC wants to put on Leno’s show at 11:35 p.m PST, on Feb. 28 (the end of the Olympics), but with 30 min. show showcasing his monologues and skits. O’Brien would follow at 12:05 a.m. PST with his “Tonight” show. It’s unknown how both will feel about the switch, but Leno is reported to be fine with the change; the snafu might be O’Brien, who might not agree with or like the change. If he’s released from his contract, it could cost NBC up to $40 million dollars, which is something they don’t want, needless to say.

We’ll keep track of how this shapes up, though we hope it doesn’t turn ugly for late night programming on NBC.

Good and Bad News: The Jay Leno Show

September 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Prime Time

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0000060482_20090826183737It was a good week for Jay Leno, and in the long term, maybe not so good.

Blessed with lots of big stars, a well-timed Kanye West appearance, and the attention of a hungry press, his show had a strong opening week ratings wise despite blasts from many critics about the show’s less than inspired writing.

All five of the episodes finished among The Nielsen Co.’s 24 big preime time shows last week.

Now the Bad News: Monday’s Leno episode had 5.7 million viewers, about half to 65% off of last week’s numbers. Very bad news for Jay, especially in only the second week of its run.

The opening episode of “The Jay Leno Show” had 18.4 million viewers on Monday of last week, and the audience had dropped quickly to 7.6 million by Friday, which bodes poorly for its future, many would say. A few have even whispered that the show may be ditched in the next year or so if it doesn’t get better. Hopefully, we’ll see Jay rebound a bit, but so far, not so good.

Tonight Show: Jay Leno near the end of the road

May 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Features, Late Night

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Jay Leno has been the face of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno for 17 years. And that long and twisting road is coming to an end on Friday.

It’s a job he won against a lot of solid competition. The Tonight Show is a coveted position for any host or comedian.  NBC wasn’t too sure at first, but Leno won them over. He’s only missed 4 days over those 17 years, and worked without complaint.

Late-Late night host Conan O’Brien will take over the show on Monday. But Leno isn’t really leaving our TV screens, in fact, he’s sort of moving up in time slots. “The Jay Leno Show” will air at 10PM Eastern soon.

At age 59, he’s finally hit “the big time”.

Johnny Carson (the king of Late Night, whose reign began in 1962) put America to peaceful and humorous rest for 30 years, and endorsed Leno as his replacement. Since May 25, 1992, Jay Leno has sat at this desk. It’ll be strange to see someone else there.

He has been well-liked. Sturdy. Unfailingly likable. A regular guy, that audiences identify with. Not a blockbuster or a highly controversial figure. That’s not his style.

He was just solid. Intelligent. And treated all of his guests with grace and humility, the way talk show guests should be treated.

Happy trails, Jay Leno, and may your new show do well.