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Conan To NBC: ‘What
Does Jay Have On You??’

I am – Hercules!! TV By The Numbers yesterday posted another of its stories about how many fewer all-important adults aged 18-49 “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” is still attracting compared to “The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien.” Comcast, the incoming new parent of NBC Universal, has kicked CEO Jeff Zucker to the curb, and O’Brien launches his new TBS late-night chat show a week from Monday. Next Thursday, Viking publishes “The War For Late Night,” Bill Carter’s new book about the Conan-Jay “Tonight Show” debacle. Carter is the same guy who wrote 1995’s “The Late Shift,” about Leno’s war with David Letterman over “The Tonight Show.” I could write paragraphs about why Leno so doggedly cleaves to “Tonight.” I’m convinced too much of Leno’s id is wired into the franchise; I believe he would host the show for free if NBC insisted. I think Leno’s obsession with it has much to do with how insanely important Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show” became to the incomes of stand-up comedians in the 1970s, when cable barely existed and the other networks couldn't be bothered to air original programming after midnight. Anyway, Vanity Fair just posted some lengthy excerpts from Carter’s new book. They're an interesting read, and suggests Leno now hosts "Tonight" simply because he hired better lawyers than O’Brien did. Apparently both David Letterman and Jay Leno long had contract stipulations insisting nothing got between their shows and the late local news. An excerpt from the excerpt:
“You guys got that for Conan, too, I’m sure,” [former Letterman producer Robert Morton] said. He waited while watching [O’Brien’s agent] Rick and [O’Brien’s producer] Jeff exchange a little look. “You didn’t?” Morty asked, holding back his next thought, which was: You’ve got to be kidding me.
Another excerpt suggests Leno got an “unprecedented” contract that guaranteed primetime’s “The Jay Leno Show” could not be yanked from the air. With Leno’s ratings ridiculously low and affiliates threatening to end their affiliations, Carter illustrates NBC was really in a spot. And then this, from the sudden January meeting in which top NBC execs Jeff Gaspin and Marc Graboff told O’Brien they wanted to move him to 12:05 a.m.:
“What does Jay have on you?” Conan asked, his voice still low, his tone still even. “What does this guy have on you people? What the hell is it about Jay?” Neither of the NBC executives had an answer and cast their heads down. Conan thought they were working at looking sympathetic, following some lesson that had been taught at corporate school.
Another great excerpt, following Conan telling this joke: "I just want to say to the kids out there watching: you can do anything you want in life. Yeah, yeah—unless Jay Leno wants to do it, too.”:
Gaspin got a call from Jay about the joke. This one did not strike Jay as funny. He asked Gaspin, Why the fuck am I giving up a half-hour for this guy? And Gaspin asked himself: How could these guys work back-to-back if Conan hates Jay? There was no longer any question about resolving this in a fashion that might keep Conan at NBC, as far as Gaspin was concerned. It had come down to how the matter would be settled, and Conan would go on his way.
There’s a lot more. Find all of Vanity Fair’s excerpts here.
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Readers Talkback
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  • Oct. 29, 2010, 3:43 p.m. CST

    Poor Conan...

    by LordPorkington

    We still love you mate.

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 3:45 p.m. CST

    Correction: Its COMCAST NOT CABLEVISION

    by DJJester

    that's buying NBC Universal.

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 3:47 p.m. CST

    fuck Leno

    by Stifler's Mom

    not funny, not likable, not even close to relevant anymore. Conan's best years are, for the most part, behind him (he kicked ass during the 90s) but he's still 100 times funnier than Jay. Literally one hundred more laughs.

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 3:50 p.m. CST

    Jay Leno sucks

    by PinkFloyd7

    but Jimmy Fallon is worse. I will never forget his interview with Roger Waters. Embarassingly bad.

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 3:50 p.m. CST

    I'm doing Nielsen ratings this month, and I'm watching Conan

    by KarlKolchak

    Can't wait for his show. He got screwed.

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 3:51 p.m. CST

    JAY LENO'S DISTORTED FACE IS MY TOILET!

    by AzulTool

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 4:03 p.m. CST

    Jay Leno fits the classic description of

    by Stinkle_Your_Dinkle

    a sociopath. This guys cares but no one but himself.

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 4:04 p.m. CST

    pictures of willard scott

    by presidentevil

    and al roker blowing a goat while giving matt a reach-a-round

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 4:11 p.m. CST

    Leno constantly has to explain his jokes

    by matchesmalone2380

    Leno: "Why did the chicken cross the road? to get to the other side! You see he has to cross it...and get the otherside of the road. hehe". Leno used his big chin to screw over Conan.

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 4:24 p.m. CST

    Can't wait for the movie...

    by The Dum Guy

    Late Shift was pretty good.<br><br>I wonder who they'll get to play Conan?

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 4:25 p.m. CST

    That's horribly written!

    by Snake Foreskin

    And is any of it even verified? Or is this another of those celeb expose books that are mostly made up?

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 4:26 p.m. CST

    That said, I don't like ANY late night hosts...

    by Snake Foreskin

    Not since Carson. Everyone else pales in comparison. Conan was all wrong for Tonight Show. Leno just plain sucks. What a loser.

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 4:26 p.m. CST

    Gay Sucko is the fecal waste of subhuman garbage.

    by AzulTool

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 4:26 p.m. CST

    It was hard for anyone not to feel bad for Conan

    by terry1978

    Even people that barely knew who he was or hated his comedic stylings had to take a step back and be like, "damn, they fucked that poor dude over."

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 4:28 p.m. CST

    The Dum Guy

    by Bvc79

    Why, Jim Carrey, of course! http://www.youtu be.com/watch?v=_7StsXTQhYs

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 4:29 p.m. CST

    The problem NBC has is that Leno is dropping...

    by Chewtoy

    and is at or below Conan's levels, only there's no chance that his show will grow the audience any more. When Leno started at the tonight show, his performance echoed Conan's... he started big because of novelty, then slowly dropped and bottomed out, but then began to grow again as audiences slowly came around to check him out again after he settled into the job. NBC bounced Conan out before he had the chance to grow his audience after he was settled in. <p> But Leno doesn't have any room for growth. There's no large segment out there that might give him a chance, having made up their minds whether they like him or not over the many years they had to decide. He's hemorraged viewers as a result of all of this, and he has little chance of winning them back. Plus, by letting Conan go, NBC has further fractured late night audiences by giving them a new show to choose. The biggest problem, however, is that there is no heir left for the Tonight Show. They're stuck with the sinking rock that is Leno now, for years. <p>

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 4:31 p.m. CST

    This is Better

    by TheRevenge

    This is best for everyone. Conan will do better with his own eponymous show than trying to take over someone else's gig. His humor is best-suited for something he can call his own. <BR> <BR> Meanwhile, Leno is best suited for "The Tonight Show". He's been there for so long and the regular "TS" viewers want him there. Yeah, everyone likes to play the "18-49" card or whatever, but the fact remains that he's the #1 late-night host on TV. He's still beating Letterman in ALL Demographics, so I don't know why everyone keeps trying to pretend Conan was more popular than he was. His own audience didn't follow him there and I don't for a second by the bullshit "Lead-In" myth. It's not 1975 anymore. People change channels and don't leave the TV on all night. Oh, wait, some people do. You know who? People who aren't 18 to 49. The same people who love Leno. <br> <br> So Leno keeps his show, Conan keeps his show, and everyone is happy. Why piss on Leno? If people wanted Conan on The Tonight Show so badly, they should have tuned in to watch him. But that's just it: His own audience didn't and Leno's people were never going to be Conan's people just because they shared the time slot. <br> <br> I believe that Leno has better lawyers. But, on top of that, Conan had worse advisers. See, the biggest mistake NBC made wasn't putting Conan at 11:30. It wasn't letting Conan go. It was pushing Leno out when he was #1 and not ready to retire. They banked on the wrong guy. <br> <br> I love Conan's humor, although I find late-night talk shows are getting stale. It's kind of a tired format at this point. How many are there? 23? They used to be funny and about getting some real humor and scoop and gossip from celebs. Now they're just gush-fests (Letterman included) while spoiled narcissists pitch their over-hyped project. It used to be that late-night was the only place to get interviews and info on new movies/tv/etc. Now it all just seems a bit tired. Here's hoping Conan's new show can bring something new and fresh to a format that isn't.

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 4:33 p.m. CST

    I have a filter in my kitchen sink that will, on occasion

    by skimn

    trap particles of food as they cascade down the drain. One day I picked up the filter to find a dark, mucus like substance that covered the bottom of the filter. I took a rag and wiped the thick gooey mess away. The mention of NBC executives made me think of that for some reason.

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 4:47 p.m. CST

    Just Stop

    by TheRevenge

    Please just stop with the "Leno had a chance to grow while Conan didn't" myth. It's tiresome and completely ignorant of how the TV world works in 2010. <br> <br> First of all, Leno's ratings were lower when he started...but The Tonight Show was still making money. When Conan's ratings were low, he didn't just lose viewers, he was losing MONEY. That sucks, but it's true. For the first time in 50 years, The Tonight Show was reporting a loss. TV networks don't "owe" anyone time to "Grow" simply because some die-hard fans want it. If they feel they're losing too much cash, they'll act quickly. Ever notice that "Firefly" isn't on TV anymore? What just happened to "Caprica"? Hey, how's "Viva Laughlin" doing these days? <br> <br> Mostly, though, the reason you can't make the "Leno had time to grow, not Conan" argument is that it ignores the fact that this is 2010, not 1994. You can't compare apples to oranges and you certainly can't compare a year when late-night was still king and cable barely had programming to right now, where more people watch the internet than most shows on at 11:30pm. You think Conan was owed the same parameters as 16 years earlier? Why? Why should NBC lose money because of people's naive (and completely wrong) view of how TV ratings and returns work? Do you think ANY network would do that these days? <br> <br> When Leno took over The Tonight Show, he was merely the permanent guest host. Of a show that wasn't even on every single night due to Carson's schedule at that point. Some people didn't even watch it when Carson wasn't on. It took time for Leno to build his audience and make the show his...which was, again, in the early 90s...when late-night TV could afford to do so. When Conan took over, why did he need to "build" anything? What's this bullshit about people needing to "discover" his show? He was a household name! He had his own TV show for almost 2 decades with HIS NAME attached to it all the way. He wasn't a "GUEST" anything. He was/is a TV star! He had primetime specials, bestselling DVDs, and a huge following. What was there to BUILD on? NBC (and this is just known in the biz) was expecting the audience to BE THERE, not to BUILD. And...they weren't. And they didn't. He LOST viewers...and this is BEFORE Leno took that earlier time slot. It's not that Conan didn't BUILD on his time slot or that people didn't DISCOVER him; they left or simply stayed away. Is Conan hilarious? Yes. Did he deserve better? Yes. Was it all Leno's fault? Hardly. Most of it was Conan's own audience not watching and Leno's audience turning away. Who are all the people who think that Leno's audience was just going to suddenly LOVE Conan? What...? They had to "discover" a guy who had been on after Leno for 16 years? He was anonymous until then? <br> <br> And if you blame Leno for Conan's bad ratings, then you must also praise Leno for Conan's success. See, Leno has ALWAYS been Conan's ratings. To say that Conan's numbers sucked because of Leno ignores the fact that Conan's "Late Night" show ALSO followed Leno. So, which is it? Was Leno hurting Conan..? Or was Conan always getting viewers because of Leno? That's why the "Lead In" myth is just that. People find the host they want and watch him. Lead-Ins don't mean shit in 2010. <br> <br> Like Leno or not, he's built a large, loyal following on that show. Forget what you think is "Funny", because that's subjective. Networks are a business that are supposed to make money, and no one makes money by randomly asking dudes on the internet to tell them what's funny. They have to look at the numbers, and Leno's remain at #1. Forget 18 to 49, because NBC has. If Conan had been #1 in overall viewers in his timeslot (instead of #3 and sometimes #4), then this never would have happened. Does it suck? Yes. But before you go flying off the handle and tossing out insults at me (as is par the course on here), that's just how the math works. That's TV. <br> <br> I know people at NBC who were talking about this when it happened. No one liked it, but it was a clusterfuck that begin 6 years ago, not back in February.

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 4:53 p.m. CST

    The Revenge you ignorant slut

    by Centauri

    The issue you are glossing over is what forced NBC's hand...and here's a hint, it wasn't Conan's ratings. It was the epic fail that was Jay Leno at 10. NBC as a network was facing permanent irrelavence if that dog's breakfast had been allowed to continue. They had to make a change, and Jay, being the douchebag he is, wouldn't just take his cash and walk off into the sunset. So he bent Conan over, and jammed it in.

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 5 p.m. CST

    Read this yesterday

    by Burgundy82

    So, so good. Can't wait to check out the book.

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 5:07 p.m. CST

    Why the fuck am I giving up a half-hour for this guy?

    by Zardozap2005

    Because Conan is funny and you're an unfunny flaming douche-bag Jay. See. That was easy.

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 5:09 p.m. CST

    Stoltz to be replaced five weeks later by MJ Fox.

    by Zardozap2005

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 5:10 p.m. CST

    Leno is an asshole!

    by Tarijeno

    LA-LA-LA

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 5:20 p.m. CST

    When you say it out loud it just doesn't make any sense.

    by DANNYGLOVERS_DICKBLO0D

    A network in serious trouble chased away their entire late night audience of 18-30 year old viewers in order to secure a guy reaching the end of his career with plummeting ratings and a practically geriatric audience.

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 5:23 p.m. CST

    Jay will be DPed by Dave and Conan while Kimmel jacks off.

    by AzulTool

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 5:24 p.m. CST

    Looks like Tilda Swinton WILL play Conan in the movie after all!

    by MrMysteryGuest

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 5:25 p.m. CST

    The cuckolding of the king bitch pig whore named Jay.

    by AzulTool

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 5:27 p.m. CST

    Ending with a humiliating face shot

    by AzulTool

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 5:27 p.m. CST

    Conan may have gotten screwed but

    by seasider

    he was hardly the innocent victim in all this. He started the fiasco with attempt at a powerplay back in 2004 demanding NBC promise him the The Tonight Show or he'll leave. Leno was forced out when he didn't really want to quit. You can argue which is guy is funnier but neither guy has their hands clean in all this.

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 5:33 p.m. CST

    Wonder if they'll bring back the guys who played Jay and Dave b4

    by MrMysteryGuest

    Daniel Roebuck as Jay Leno and John Michael Higgins as David Letterman in "The Late Shift" movie. And is Jimmy Kimmel gonna play himself in the sequel? And who's playing Jimmy Fallon?

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 5:36 p.m. CST

    LATE SHIFT 2: THE WAR FOR LATE NIGHT

    by MrMysteryGuest

    "It's not TV...it's HBO."

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 5:37 p.m. CST

    I weep little tears for either of them.

    by BooBoosDaddy

    Wah. Conan lost the Tonight Show. Wah. Jay took it from him. Wah. Fuck both of these guys. And while Conan comes off as the victim and far more likable, he walked away with a shit ton of cash. When my wife works a day job and I lost mine and have to raise our 2 year old on her pay check and my unemployment, these guys are bitching? Fuck them. Millions of dollars they have. I can give a fuck about either.

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 5:38 p.m. CST

    How soon can we expect the tv movie?

    by ShabbyBlue

    Loved the original Late Shift and I assume a sequel based on the new book is a sure thing. Has there been any word yet on the new book being optioned for a tv movie?

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 5:56 p.m. CST

    Leno is a real piece of shit.

    by JuanSanchez

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 6:06 p.m. CST

    seasider

    by lock67ca

    Bullshit. Leno had enough pull back then. He could have said, "Fuck that shit. I'm not going." He didn't. He agreed to it, and then whined like a fucking 2 year old throwing a tantrum until NBC caved in and gave him 10PM. Forced out my ass.

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 6:06 p.m. CST

    Herc, please -- GIVE IT A REST ALREADY

    by Big Dumb Ape

    No offense, Herc, but your long running hatred for anything Leno, where you use your AICN column to tear at him consistently, has REALLY become tiresome and boring. I thought it would be impossible for you to ever top your perpetual Whedon worshipping, but at least that was your Jedi good side trying to prop up a person versus your constant anti-Leno articles which betray your Sith side.<p>Seriously, go get laid. Turn off the computer and get out of the house for awhile. Go have some FUN. But as for this Leno/O'Brien stuff just GIVE IT A REST. As I said, it's become groan-inducing at this point.<p>Better yet, I can't wait for O'Brien's show to premiere. I imagine given all the press and controversy surrounding the Leno-O'Brien fight, it will probably debut to "okay" or good ratings...and then I honestly expect it to slide down and down. At which point, I honestly have to wonder -- given Herc's bias -- will we be seeing Coaxial headlines that declare "CONAN SINKS TO A NEW RATINGS LOW!" or something like that, which Herc is always so eager to declare about other shows? Me thinks the answer is no.

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 6:07 p.m. CST

    this part sumed it up for me

    by deadpool2449

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 6:10 p.m. CST

    this part summed it up for me

    by deadpool2449

    "when Jay discussed with his staff all the actions and reactions of that chaotic month, the one thing none of them really understood was that whole dream-destroying theme that Conan had expressed so eloquently. When Jay was a kid he’d dreamed of hosting The Tonight Show, too. But when he was an adult it became his employment." when its just a job for you, then maybe you should move on, work is work, but at the level that there at, you can afford to go find your dream

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 6:10 p.m. CST

    TEAM CONAN, TEAM EDWARD, TEAM YOUNG

    by DioxholsterOperationsOutpost

    IM ALL THESE TEAMS!

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 6:10 p.m. CST

    Leno: "I'm a victim, too!"

    by Tarijeno

    "Now excuse me while I go polish one of my 400 Ferraris with a baby diaper."

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 6:18 p.m. CST

    Poor Conan...

    by WarrenSmooth

    His initial threat to bolt from NBC got him a chance to host THE TONIGHT SHOW... then he just couldn't hack it. Now he's been kicked to basic cable gulag as George Lopez's sidekick.

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 6:19 p.m. CST

    Jay Leno is the #1 customer at the bozack salad bar.

    by AzulTool

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 6:32 p.m. CST

    What does...

    by NathanGrey

    Coughlins Law have to say about this, I assume he is Leno's agent by how much he defends the douchebag. But douchebags do stick together.

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 6:33 p.m. CST

    is that the real DICKBLOOD up here?

    by DioxholsterOperationsOutpost

    or is it a fake?

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 6:34 p.m. CST

    Big Dumb Ape

    by Hercules

    Readers are constantly hounding me to post every time Leno falls behind Conan. <p> Believe me when I say I could have been posting on this topic every week. <p> Compared to writers elsewhere I think I've shown restraint. <p> Of course if you hate me throwing up a Leno story every so often, you can always choose not to read them.

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 6:37 p.m. CST

    Conan is still alive?

    by ccchhhrrriiisssm

    I thought he died.

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 6:37 p.m. CST

    He died of a jealous bone...

    by ccchhhrrriiisssm

    ...stuck in his nearly 50 year old neck.

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 6:38 p.m. CST

    The Revenge is a dish best served with douche.

    by claytron5000

    Congrats on putting the Interwebbers in their place. Your dissertation on how TV works was riveting and liberating. Who knew?! It's 2010 and not 1994.

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 6:49 p.m. CST

    NathanGrey

    by lock67ca

    I'm sure Coughlins will be here as soon as he extracts his head from Leno's ass.

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 7:03 p.m. CST

    FUCK CONAN

    by j2talk

    Where the hell was his "fans" during this? Outside the Collage Frat house who finds him funny for more than 5 mins? Not that Leno is a great comedian,but he at least does what the Tonight show has ALWAYS done entertained middle America....

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 7:04 p.m. CST

    That's a fake DICKBLOOD up there

    by Xiphos_2

    There is a zero in place of the second "O" in the name.

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 7:05 p.m. CST

    the Late Shift portrayal of Dave

    by paulloch

    is so far off from what we know to be true about Dave -- now post scandals, that I really don't take what he writes as gospel or reliable. The TV movie was awful with bad casting/acting for all the leads except Kathy Bates.

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 7:15 p.m. CST

    "long running hatred for anything Leno"

    by Bill Clay

    Jay forced the American icon Johnny Carson into quitting and stole his show. Leno is a cunt. And I reserve that vile word for only the worst people.

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 7:22 p.m. CST

    Jay Leno is the putrid product of anal birth.

    by AzulTool

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 7:34 p.m. CST

    My grandparents LOVE Leno.

    by Tarijeno

    They're both in their mid 90's. They don't leave the house very often, and they still think Michael Jackson is black.... and alive. But they love them some Leno.

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 7:44 p.m. CST

    To the people whining about this topic coming up...

    by Chewtoy

    Conan is about to start his new show... I promise you the Leno/Conan thing is going to be news for the next few weeks regardless of anyone's bias. <p> and as for the Tonight Show losing money under Conan... If you add the contract pay-offs NBC made to keep Leno, first on his Primetime show, then to pay-off Conan to leave, the current Leno run with his lowest ratings has to be the most expensive loss of money in late night television.

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 7:46 p.m. CST

    by MikeTheSpike

    Wow, I figured this book was coming, but I'm pleased to see it so soon. Should be great.

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 7:59 p.m. CST

    Jay Leno is AWESOME

    by ennio

    for me to poop on.

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 8:07 p.m. CST

    Anti-Leno topics "because the fans demand it"?

    by OutsideChance

    Um, yeah. I believe that (smirks). Actually, while I am sure that Herc does get a few "post some more anti-Jay stuff" I'm equally sure he gets as many, if not more, emails demanding things that he ignores.

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 8:45 p.m. CST

    Ego's have sufficated current late night shows

    by hegele

    i don't give a shit anymore about who is getting what deal. Save Kimmel and clear the entire slate to start fresh.

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 9:29 p.m. CST

    It was Never Proven The Tonight Show Lost oney with Conan

    by BigTuna

    That was a claim Leno made on Oprah. Conan claimed on 60 Minutes NBC eecs said they were making money with Conan as host.

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 9:30 p.m. CST

    "What does Leno have on you?" I want to see Cone's huge balls...

    by Tigger Tales

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 9:58 p.m. CST

    i will take jay leno any day..

    by emeraldboy

    over that fat, ugly, unfunny, sarky, corkian twat brandan O'connor. ugh. or the unfunny, NYC born Des Bishop. I dont Mind Graham Norton. Jonathon Ross was a lick arse whose unfunny antics brought censorship to the bbc. we will see how quickly his new show tanks on ITV. same thing happened to simon dee. big star of the bbc on both tv and radio, stropped off to itv. which was ran by david frost and then plummeted into oblivion after a scandal. he was sacked by frost after he booked an alkie senator who droned on and on with a list of people who were really involved in the killing of john kenneddy. back to present day. 2009. and after an initial success rte's flagship talkshow The Late Late show has plummeted. toy show is just around. ratings winner that. then they will plunge again. rte's late late show under tubridy suffers from same guest syndrome. tubridy tonight had the same problem bar the hoff. they always went with the people who were in the rte canteen. and most of those were rte presenters.

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 10:10 p.m. CST

    what is it exactly about ricky gervaise..

    by emeraldboy

    that people find so funny? I have seen all of his shows. i thought extras finale was the best thing on tv at christmas two years and by some distance. but look the man is and god my langusge is getting rough, an utterly destatable prick. there was interview done with gervaise a couple of months and the photo was of him dressed as a military general. gervaise does see himself as a comedy control freak but then so does eddie izzard. but gervaise sees himself as a comedy dictator, hence that recent article and that military get up. has anyone seen an idiot abroad on sky one in the uk. its a travel series in which an inherently xenophobic man goes to places that he knows he wont like and hee hee doesnt like any of them. but its on a channel owned by rupert Murdoch. go figure.

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 10:30 p.m. CST

    11:30? Hell, that's Skinamax time baby!

    by Bartleby T. Scrivener

    Fuck the late night talk, bring on the tits.

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 10:30 p.m. CST

    Craig Ferguson

    by Krangelus

    is awesome.

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 10:45 p.m. CST

    Correction: It's not Comcast, it's Kable Town

    by Ben_Richards_Bomb_Collar

    with a 'K'

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 11:02 p.m. CST

    GERVAIS & LENO: CUNTS FOREVER

    by elgato73

  • Oct. 29, 2010, 11:59 p.m. CST

    Jesus Elgato, don't egg him on!

    by RedJester

    He feels just because his favorite movie made $12.00 at the boxoffice, that it's OK for him to spam these boards. It's not OK.

  • Oct. 30, 2010, 12:06 a.m. CST

    And I can't wait for Conans new show.

    by RedJester

    Although, I kind of wish they ditch Conan's band and just go with Reggie Watts as Conan's house musician. That would truly be comedy gold.

  • Oct. 30, 2010, 12:10 a.m. CST

    they'd not they.

    by RedJester

  • Oct. 30, 2010, 12:47 a.m. CST

    Fuck Leno, give the show to Dane Cook...

    by Sicuv Uyall

    Or Carlos Mencia. Or maybe Gallagher.

  • Oct. 30, 2010, 2:31 a.m. CST

    The money that SCOTTPILGRIMFAN

    by Wheel99

    spends on seeing Scott Pilgrim would be money he couldnt spend on tickets to see GERVAIS & LENO

  • Oct. 30, 2010, 3:36 a.m. CST

    No Ignorant Slut Here

    by TheRevenge

    Yes, Leno's 10pm show did fail. It had 5 millions viewers, which is what he had at 11:30pm. GREAT numbers for 11:30pm, but shitty for 10pm. It was supposed to be a Variety Show (which they promised) and wound up being "The Tonight Show" at 10pm. It blew. Nothing changed. It was stupid to think that a late-night host on a 10pm talk show was going to double viewers...NBC should have known that from the start. Stupid idea. <br> <br> Conan, on the other hand, was averaging 3 million viewers at 11:30pm. Great for 12:30am, not for 11:30pm. He was placing 3rd and sometimes 4th. You can talk demographics all you want (Hell, Herc sure does), but #3 doesn't look good when you've been #1 for 50 years. <br> <br> I like Conan. I think he's funny. I didn't care for his "Tonight Show" and, since then, I don't watch ANY late-night shows except, on occasion, Ferguson. BUT... <br> <br> I just don't get why you Conan cheerleaders can't get past it? Why can't you just accept that his show failed? YES, Leno's show failed at 10pm. But that does not, in any way, negate the fact that Conan ALSO failed. It was just bad decisions all around. Conan being watered-down made his own fans leave and Leno's fans simply didn't like Conan and went elsewhere. They watched Leno at 10pm and then, likely, watched Letterman. <br> <br> So you love Conan. Great. But just because you love him doesn't mean his numbers were there and that he deserved to keep his show. There are no shows that get that kind of support anymore on the major networks. TV simply doesn't work that way anymore. I agree that it sucks...but that's just how it works. Everyone wants to blame someone for Conan's shitty numbers except Conan himself and his own fans. Maybe the guy just isn't as popular as he needed to be for THAT SHOW. Everyone acts like he was some cult figure that only the hipster kids knew about and, if given the chance to be discovered, he would have become the biggest thing in late-night. But Conan didn't come out of nowhere. He was a household name when he took "TTS". There weren't people who hadn't "found" his show. They were deliberately staying away. That's not because of Leno. People find and choose the host they want. Period. More people chose (and choose) Leno. Maybe that will change when Conan hits TBS. We'll see. Believe it or not, I'm rooting for Conan. Just because I've accepted reality doesn't mean I don't love the guy. <br> <br> If Conan was raking in 5 million viewers at 11:30pm, Leno would have been sent packing when his 10pm show failed. So, Leno had a better contract, sure. If Conan was #1 in his timeslot, Leno would NOT have been moved back into the 11:30pm slot. If Conan had better numbers, Leno and his shitty 10pm show would have simply been canceled, contract or no contract. Yeah, Leno might have gotten a huge severance, but they wouldn't have pushed Conan out. Conan wasn't offered the "push back" to 12am because they wanted to fawn all over Leno. They felt that Leno would keep his numbers (5 million) and maybe help the fledgling Conan get some more, too. This, of course, is bullshit because the "Lead-In" myth is phony. But that was their intention. After all, Leno was ALWAYS Conan's "Lead-In". <br> <br> Let's not forget that Conan chose to walk. He was not fired. He wasn't even told he'd lose "The Tonight Show". He wanted to preserve it's legacy and timeslot. His choice. He was offered a compromise. <br> <br> I don't watch Leno. The show is too dull and old for me. But that's just it; everyone is pretending The Tonight Show was some show for 18-49 year-olds...and it never was. It's always been your parents' late-night talk show. And Leno is their guy. You can shit on old people all you want, but they're watching, and they've made Leno the #1 host in late-night TV...again. <br> <br> Conan belongs somewhere else with his own show, not trying to change his act for someone else's legacy. It's TV RATINGS 101. <br> <br> It's as if you guys think admitting that Conan simply didn't pull it off will be like saying Leno is better. He's not...but he's a better FIT for THAT program. <br> <br> Frankly, I don't know why every comedian gushes over The Tonight Show anyway. I'd much rather have my own show with my own name than take over some other guy's gig and always have to live up to what he did with it first. No thanks.

  • Oct. 30, 2010, 3:38 a.m. CST

    Apologies

    by TheRevenge

    My post was way too long. Sorry.

  • Oct. 30, 2010, 5:23 a.m. CST

    Wait...George Lopez has a talk show????

    by FlandersBum

    Or is that just a rumor?

  • Oct. 30, 2010, 6:27 a.m. CST

    SCOTTPILGRIMFAN

    by lock67ca

    King of AICN? No, you're just a SPAMMING little annoyance that won't go away.

  • Oct. 30, 2010, 8:20 a.m. CST

    so I think...

    by emeraldboy

    what scottpilgrimfan is really saying is that Gervaise and Leno arent really very funny and that I agree, gervaise in particular isnt very funny at all. arrogant little prick.

  • Oct. 30, 2010, 8:41 a.m. CST

    Herc, would you please ban this fuckwad

    by lock67ca

    Unlike certain others who have been banned recently, I can't think of anyone more deserving.

  • Oct. 30, 2010, 9:20 a.m. CST

    scottpilgrimfan..

    by emeraldboy

    has to go away.

  • Oct. 30, 2010, 9:30 a.m. CST

    Those Of You Who Hate Leno..

    by Karuma

    ...are idiots. And for comparisons to who is a better entertainer, O'Brien has never been funny, except in a high school, "look at me", popularity type of way. "Oohh, I'm being edgy!! Ooohh, I'm making 'Late Night' into a cesspool gutter." Please. When comedians talk about comedians they admire, the name Conan O'Brien never comes up.

  • Oct. 30, 2010, 10:55 a.m. CST

    I only watch Leno when he has Prince on.

    by Sigourneys_Beaver

    Prince is a badass.

  • Oct. 30, 2010, 11:53 a.m. CST

    SCOTTPILGRIMFAN

    by dj_bollocks

    Ricky and Jay called... you a total douchebag...

  • Oct. 30, 2010, 12:18 p.m. CST

    Leno is dirty back stabbing SOB

    by Nabster

    He should be hanged and burned and pissed on.

  • Oct. 30, 2010, 12:24 p.m. CST

    I know people say "I'll never watch _______ again" ...

    by Epsilon

    And turn around the next day and watch it. However, I have not watched Leno since all this down and never will again. I never found him that funny to begin with, and I saw him as overrated yet harmless (much in the same way the Dallas Cowboys are always overrated yet harmless). However, I now believe everything Howard Stern has been saying all these years. Leno is a douchebag whose desire to be loved by America will cause him to do just about anything to have a primetime or late night show. I don't think there's ever been a case in the history of entertainment where my opinion of someone did a 180 so quickly. I wish the Conan/Leno war could have gone on forever. Conan was at his best with those jokes. But I'm looking forward to seeing him on TBS.

  • Oct. 30, 2010, 12:59 p.m. CST

    The REAL reason Jay got his job back...

    by TopHat

    ...The Tea Party. Seriously. Of the Late Night talk show hosts, Jay is definitely the Republican. And NBC wants to get that white middle-aged middle-class demographic. The same demographic that makes up the majority of the Tea Party. Conan, obviously, is not Republican in any way. NBC is becoming more and more like Fox; Nightly News does more stories on the Tea Party then ABC or CBS put together. Jay represents the "sense of humor" of the DAYS OF THUNDER crowd.

  • Oct. 30, 2010, 1:46 p.m. CST

    FUNNIEST SHIT EVER!!!! LAUGHED MY ASS OFF! HOLY SHIT

    by DioxholsterOperationsOutpost

    http://youtu.be/thLf2VaWDzg <P> Brace yourself this video is downright funny!

  • Oct. 30, 2010, 3:41 p.m. CST

    Conan used to be a thug

    by Nabster

    when he was younger. I read an article about how he used to rob apartments and mug people at atm machines. You wouldn't expect it looking at him.

  • Oct. 30, 2010, 4:08 p.m. CST

    Why was Conan screwed when his rating sucked?!

    by TheBikeShopOwnerFromDifferentStrokes

    I'm a fan of Conan too, but this is bullcrap. Conan is NOT an 11:30pm host. Sorry, but it is true.

  • Oct. 30, 2010, 5:02 p.m. CST

    Gervais & Leno?

    by SnapT

    Is SCOTTPILGRIMFAN posting from an alternate universe where Ricky Gervais and Jay Leno are like a modern day Martin and Lewis? That's wonderfully random.

  • Oct. 30, 2010, 5:14 p.m. CST

    Screw Conan, this is HILARIOUS! check video below...

    by DioxholsterOperationsOutpost

    http://youtu.be/thLf2VaWDzg <p> Totally made my day

  • Oct. 30, 2010, 5:19 p.m. CST

    Kimmel is mean-spirited...

    by SK229

    I fucking hate that guy more than everyone I hate in television combined. He reminds me of certain people in high school, afraid to look uncool or enthusiastic about anything... will make fun of anything or anyone at the drop of a hat so as to seem cooly distanced. I'll take some jock douchebag any day over these people... at least they have a physical talent. I've noticed a lot of Kevin Smith fans have this personality traits... and every high school out in the northeastern boondocks or suburbs of dirty Jersey has this sub-group as well. I don't mind mean comedy when it's called for, but Kimmel is the type that it comes off as unnecessary and uncalled for.

  • Oct. 30, 2010, 5:23 p.m. CST

    The same people that make CBS popular...

    by andrew coleman

    Watch Leno. That is why he gained so much control. I get you guys think he sucks, I do too but most mouth breathers will watch anything and like Leno's basic comedy.

  • Oct. 30, 2010, 5:30 p.m. CST

    mouth breathers lol

    by DioxholsterOperationsOutpost

    they are many

  • Oct. 30, 2010, 6:30 p.m. CST

    TheRevenge

    by Tigger Tales

    You're a class act!

  • Oct. 31, 2010, 8:37 a.m. CST

    The only way Jay could save the Tonight Show ratings

    by Itchy

    is if he promoted a special episode where all the people he fucked in the last 20 years get to come Cleveland Steamer him. Hell, even I'd watch that and I rather help my grandma douche than watch Leno's monologue.

  • Oct. 31, 2010, 9 a.m. CST

    SK229, Kimmel may be mean-spirited

    by lock67ca

    But his attacks on Leno during this whole mess were both classic and well deserved. For Kimmel to go on Leno's show and insult him the way he did took a set of brass balls, and he'll always have my respect for that.

  • Oct. 31, 2010, 2:16 p.m. CST

    Meh. I'm with Krangelus, I prefer Ferguson

    by CrusherJen

    First Jay got screwed over to make room for Conan, then Conan got screwed over for Jay's sake. It evens out, I guess, since I never found either one of them very funny. When I feel like watching a late night talk show, I turn on Craig Ferguson. Not every night's a gem, but he's irreverant, witty, genuinely good at talking to his guests, and his monologues are great. For those who doubt, here's a sample, IMHO one of his all-time best show-openers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= GDuIvZkLun8 . His puppets and musical numbers are awesome, and he's pretty easy on the eyes... so however it works out for Jay and Conan is fine, whatever. I'll be laughing with Craig.

  • Oct. 31, 2010, 4:09 p.m. CST

    ALL "Late Night" shows suck

    by Unscripted

    This whole war is ridiculous - hasn't anyone noticed that the big-name-host "late night" show ran out of gas around Johnny's 20th year and has been sucking fumes (and wind) ever since? It's mind-blowing idiocy that only survives because its audience is either wired or fried or staying up late to fool Mom and Dad. Bury the whole genre, starting with Jay and Conan and Davey, and move on!

  • Oct. 31, 2010, 7:48 p.m. CST

    TheRevenge, re: demographics / numbers

    by dp4m

    You write about comparing millions of viewers (5mm vs. 3mm) which, if it mattered, would be relevant. However, the only advertising revenue worth anything is the M18-39 (or 18-49, I always forget) which is what both tvbythenumbers.com and many of the posters on Conan/Leno talkbacks reference. Those numbers are far, far more in Conan's favor, are they not? Why would NBC worry about overall numbers of viewers when it has no bearing on the advertising numbers and the appropriate audiences therein?

  • Oct. 31, 2010, 9:17 p.m. CST

    No, you're wrong, dp4m. Ratings for 18-49 year olds

    by Coughlins Laws

    DOES matter the most, but overall viewers matter, too. Younger viewers are rated higher, but to try and make the point that anyone over 49 doesn't matter at all is incorrect, and downright insulting.

  • Oct. 31, 2010, 9:26 p.m. CST

    re: Ratings and Demographics

    by dp4m

    From tvbythenumbers.com and the FAQ: "3. Why all this focus on 18-34 and 18-49 year olds! It’s the people over 50 who have all the money. Why be ageist? I know it is counter-intuitive for some people, but the focus on the younger age demographics isn’t a function of spending power or ageism, it’s a function of advertisers desire to reach younger viewers, and relative availability. It’s much, much easier to reach a 60 year old than a 25 year old via television advertising because on average a higher percentage of 60 year olds watch a higher percentage of television than 25 year olds. Relatively speaking, the 60 year old is easy to reach and the 25 year old far more scarce. The relative scarcity of younger viewers increases both the focus and advertising premiums paid for younger viewers. Whether this is good, bad, right or wrong, I can’t really say. I can say, at least for now, that’s the way it is. It’s really not just about how old you are or how much money you have to spend. It’s also about how easy it is to reach you. The easier it is to reach you, the less advertisers are willing to pay for you, the harder it is to reach you, the more they are willing to pay." -- so, to that end, it definitely seems like the proper demo is the only kinda-important thing, especially given the article posted here on AICN last year.

  • Oct. 31, 2010, 9:41 p.m. CST

    Who cares? They both suck and they're both richer than you

    by BigFatBaby

    Freaks. Quit watching this banal crap.

  • Oct. 31, 2010, 11:13 p.m. CST

    Coughlins Laws

    by lock67ca

    Predictable as ever. Still kissing Leno's ass.

  • Nov. 1, 2010, 1:37 a.m. CST

    dp4m, check out that youtube clip I mentioned...

    by CrusherJen

    In that monologue, Craig talks about society's views on age vs. youth... and it's not only true, it's funny as hell. Huh, guess I picked the right clip to cite after all.

  • Nov. 1, 2010, 4:22 a.m. CST

    last year..

    by emeraldboy

    rte gave so the so called and not very funny corkian twat and sunday indo hack brendan o connor his own chatshow. after a brief ratings high the saturday night show ratings levelled off. what nobody knew was the rte were taking a risk by hiring the sarky o'connor and had a plan b. after 8 weeks off went O'connor and on came Craig doyle. and his show called tonight. it was later revealed that rte had spent 120,000 on the tonight's set. in a weird jay leno/conan o brien/tonight show piece of bizarreness. off went Craig doyle and back to our screens came Brendan O'connor. rte has come under fire because of inhouse guests booking policy. it will only now book guests that work on rte. painting by numbers, really.

  • Nov. 1, 2010, 9:31 a.m. CST

    Leno blows and Conan is only a little better

    by jtp8000

    I haven't watched Leno since he took over and I haven't watched Conan in years.</P> <p>Letterman and Ferguson still kick their asses.

  • Nov. 1, 2010, 2:51 p.m. CST

    LET'S RE-ANIMATE JOHNNY CARSON

    by Darth Busey

  • Nov. 1, 2010, 4:44 p.m. CST

    Leno can Eat a Fucking Dick.

    by McEastMan

    I really wanna read the new book and am excited to see Conan back on the air.