Post by Jay Peas 42 on Dec 30, 2010 20:16:10 GMT -5
I think the real question is, why would you buy a first generation product from Apple after the iPhone 1.
Other than that, a pretty good article.
“I don’t need to see the movie to know it’s a stupid film, I saw the commercial. Isn’t that supposed to tell me why I should see this film? I mean, if the studio can’t make a better pitch for two hours of my time and ten dollars of my money, why should give them the benefit of the doubt?”
My whole problem with the war for late night had more to do with Jeff Zucker. Now I realized he was between a rock and a hard place in that losing Leno or Conan would help divide the late night audience even more and cause NBC headaches. That being said, Zucker's biggest mistake wasn't replacing Leno with Conan or re-replacing Conan with Leno. What he should've done was in 2004 was to chose one or the other definitively to host the Tonight Show and just wish the other well in their future endeveaurs after their contract expired. Instead Zucker tried to act like Solomon but this time instead of determing the true king of late night, it ended up giving both Leno and Conan half a baby.
I'm reading The War of Late Night by Bill Carter (it's Bill Carter writing about late night TV again, so it's obviously damn good) and really, Zucker was in the wrong but it wasn't like he wasn't trying something that didn't work.
With examples he'd do with NBC News and The Today Show, he's used to removing guys in their prime from the successful ratings powerhouses and substituting them with people who would keep the boat going as high. It's a very business thing to do and kind of lousy if it falls apart after the honeymoon period, but it worked for him so he tried to do the same thing with late night.
Obviously, it turned into a massacre which pretty much was the straw that broke the camel's back on his job but he's not a complete idiot...just a plain average idiot.
And yeah, both guys were kind of screwed but NBC also was too. If they didn't try to give him The Tonight Show as an insentive, ABC and FOX would have jumped all over him and offered him a prime spot. If Jay went after his contract was done, there would be a guarenteed ratings hit gone to another network and it would have possibly hurt Conan's start just as it did do.
Again, it was one big giant mess Zucker was too headstrong to not avoid. Especially since everyone involved, quite explicitly, said they didn't want a Dave/Jay situation again. And they got themselves into an even worse situation.
I read Carter's book a month or 2 ago and it was very good and made me rethink a lot of my opinions on the whole ordeal (well except that I still think they could've been a bit more patient with Conan to turn things raise his ratings and that Zucker screwed this up). Like i said in my original post, I understand that Zucker was in an unenviable position that whoever got the Tonight Show shaft would take their very lucrative self to another network. But compromise, while well intentioned ("let's make everyone happy!") in reality falls short of it's goal ("No one's happy!"). Although, The Jay Leno Show wasn't executed as well as it could've been. I guess Zucker should get some credit for thinking outside the box (although it can be argued that there's good reason why others haven't thought outside that box of dramas at 10). Although probably the biggest mistake made (and it's mentioned in both Carter's book and the Cracked article) is that Conan's people should've gotten a timeslot guarantee in the contract (which was in an original draft of the deal but not in the final draft) that one little thing might not have solved all of the late problems but it would've made it so the waters wouldn't be as muddied.
Where are you at in the book?
Posted by h on Yesterday at 12:49am I'm not a Jay Leno fan, but he's made me laugh a few times. Nowhere near as much as O'Brien and Letterman, though.
The thing that bugged me the most about the situation is that the timeslot had little to do with the problems with Leno's new show. People will watch Jay Leno. The format of the show doomed it from day one, though.
Here's the standard formula for a talk show: 1) Opening monologue 2) Stupid crap that is entertaining because it's stupid crap 3) Special guest 4) Musical guest
The format has worked for years. There's no reason to change it. Here's how Leno's new show looked, though:
1) A little bit of Jay Leno 2) An unfunny guest host who takes over the show for 15 to 20 agonizing minutes while Jay Leno seemingly takes a coffee break 3) Who knows? I never made it past the stupid guest host.
I could have solved the problem for NBC for a hell of a lot less than $45 million.
Back to Bill Carter's book, the final segment would be a comedy bit. Usually a favorite from Leno's Tonight Show (i.e. "Jay Walking") and this was done at the behest of the affiliates who thought this would raise the ratings at the end of the show and would thus create a better lead in for local news.
I have a podcast "Nothing's Funny with Jeff & Josh". We have a Halloween episode up as of today (October 31st appropriately enough).
If you believe Howard Stern (Not sure if I consider that a good source) Leno took the 10pm slot to undermine Conan knowing it would kill Conan's lead in to the Tonight Show. Thus with a weaker lead in and a new host the ratings would dip more then expected and Leno still with NBC would take back his show.
Now I don't think Jay Leno is that evil. BUT I do think while it was NBC's fault for the most part but Leno was kind of their lackey which made him partly to blame. Conan drew a line in 2004 give him the Tonight Show or he seeks employment elsewhere. Leno in 2004 rather then saying hey I don't want to retire now nor in 2009 simply agreed.
Then in 2009 rather then Leno saying hey I still want to host the Tonight Show either boot Conan or let me go he stayed and took the 10pm slot. Leno should have left NBC once Conan took over. NBC should be to blame for 90% of that situation but Leno kind of made it worse but not saying screw you NBC.
I read Carter's book a month or 2 ago and it was very good and made me rethink a lot of my opinions on the whole ordeal (well except that I still think they could've been a bit more patient with Conan to turn things raise his ratings and that Zucker screwed this up).
Where are you at in the book?
I think that to me was the most glaring example of NBC's incompetence on the whole issue. The fact that they gave Jay 18 months before he managed to hit it with the audience but aren't willing to give Conan a year? It seemed to counteract that notion I talked about and just felt like the typical network jumping the gun BS that neither helped their image or, in a way, helped Jay's image before it was all put in the open since people would have thought Jay's pull would have caused that. But yeah, the contract thing was the real screwjob on the parts of the Lawyers. It's ridiculous they didn't have that in there.
I'm around the part where Carter talked about Craig Ferguson. Haven't really read further since because of various things. Still, damn good book, along with The Late Shift, for those interested in the inner workings of TV.