We have important and breaking* news, if you consider who hosts “The Tonight Show” or “Late Night” to be something even remotely important, and unless you are reading this from a retirement community or an NBCUniversal office, you probably don’t care all that much.
Awesome, just an awesome report from the Daily News:
There’s word that NBC brass are ruminating over Jay Leno’s future — which would involve finally giving their current late-late guy comic, Jimmy Fallon, the coveted job as the host of “The Tonight Show.”
The latest rumblings about Leno come from various talent agents who admit they have quietly been contacted by NBC officials hoping to find a new late-late host who will eventually take over Fallon’s 12:35 a.m. time slot.
First: Jimmy Fallon’s show premiered in March 2009. What is this “finally” business? Secondly, Leno’s contract is up in 2014. Does anyone actually care who hosts “The Tonight Show” anymore? Of course not. It’s “The Tonight Show.” But yes, sure, let’s all get riled up about “Tonight Show” rumors, because we had so much fun the last time we (BRIEFLY) cared about “The Tonight Show.”
Scott Collins of the L.A. Times has more on the struggles faced by “The Tonight Show” and, of course, NBC. You’ll recall that “The Tonight Show” recently laid off at least 20 staff members, with Jay Leno nobly taking a relatively minor pay cut to save some jobs.
Collins’s story is about “The Tonight Show’s” ratings slide, the ever-increasing competition in late night and NBC’s various NBC-ish missteps. There’s also this nugget about Leno’s pay cut, and how he wanted to do even more:
Leno even offered to work for free to save more jobs, according to people familiar with the matter, who said the offer was rejected because executives believed it would set a bad precedent. These people said “Tonight” was now barely breaking even.
Bull. Shit. I do not know all of the facts, nor do I know the thought process at work here, nor do I know any particular details about NBC’s current financial situation. But I feel 100 percent confident in saying that there is zero chance (none, no chance) that a television network had the option of a star working for free, saving them tens of millions of dollars a year, and they turned it down. Continue reading
Do you watch “The Tonight Show”? Of course you don’t. It’s 2012. Nobody watches “The Tonight Show,” except for people who fall asleep with their TVs on after “The Voice” and/or people in hospital waiting rooms. “The Tonight Show” exists because NBC still needs to put something on at night, and it thrives (insofar as it thrives) based solely on the exceedingly low standards for late night network television. Continue reading
Brad Dickson is an Omaha native. He wrote for Jay Leno for 15 years, which means he deserves a quiet and calm existence far, far from the horrors of “Jaywalking.” So the Omaha World-Herald decided to hire him as a columnist. What can we expect from this new column?
Christina Aguilera fell on-stage at the Grammy Awards. Hosni Mubarak called her and told Christina, “I’m glad my week isn’t going as bad as yours.”
You almost can’t tell he worked for Jay Leno for 15 years. So it’s basically a collection of Leno monologue jokes, with more Nebraska bits sprinkled throughout. One wonders how excitedly Dickson’s former colleagues at “The Tonight Show” are scouring his column, hoping for some kind of hilarious grammatical mistake so they can show it on national television, because misplaced commas or misspelled words are so very funny.
Will Conan O’Brien ever talk to Jay Leno again? Obviously the answer is no, but here’s his explanation when he was asked about it:
“There’s nothing to figure out. We all know the story. We all know what happened. Life’s short. I’ve got a family and I’m really happy here, so I don’t think about it too much.”
I’m hoping somebody asks Conan why “Jaywalking” is so popular when it’s such an appalling and cruel little gag, but I’m not holding my breath.
You will be astonished, simply astonished, to learn that Jay Leno — or, more likely, the people who work for him and who view him as the boss and leader of their operation at “The Tonight Show” — is kind of scummy. To whit: The creator of this video of Taylor Swift looking surprised was contacted by the show and asked if they show the video when Swift was a guest. He said sure, just credit me and my friend; he was promised this would happen, either verbally or in the credits. Shock of shocks: Neither occurred. Leno refers to the montage as something “we [at the show] put together.” It’s weird that a show aimed at retirees doesn’t understand how the Internet works, or at least simple attribution. [Via]
UPDATE: “The Tonight Show” will credit them, thanks to the stink he raised online. You almost wonder what they would have done if he had just complained on his own, and not gotten attention in the NYT and other places.
UPDATE II: Splitsider has a screenshot of “The Tonight Show” giving credit where it’s due. And I can’t say it any better than Splitsider: “Now just give the show back to Conan and we can finally move past all this ugliness.”
You already know Leno viewers are more likely to be rich Republicans who enjoy Fox News, while Conan viewers are likely single atheists, right? Obviously. But now you have actual, official numbers to say so! To celebrate the launch of the Hollywood Reporter as a weekly magazine, the publication had a survey conducted of late night viewers. It’s full of all sorts of obvious-seeming things, but this tidbit is interesting:
Given a list of personality adjectives, viewers said “mean spirited” and “smart” best described Letterman, “outdated” and “whiny” fit Leno, while “trustworthy” best represented O’Brien.
The people who were surveyed seem wise. I think I will choose to trust these numbers. This follows Monday’s report in AdAge confirming that, yes, you as a viewer can be segmented by what you watch and what you buy in order for massive corporations to target you and your bucks. In other words: Duh.
“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?”
—Vanity Fair has an excerpt from Bill Carter’s upcoming book, “The War for Late Night,” about the Conan-Leno debacle. It is immensely worth your time. The story — particularly the ending — will do nothing to change your perspective of Leno, and if possible the excerpt might lower your opinion of NBC.