Sunday, September 13, 2009
The Jay Leno Show
Here's Jay! (again)
Much has been made of NBC's decision to bring back Jay Leno at put him on at 9p.m. central time Monday through Friday.
And for good reason.
What we're witnessing with "The Jay Leno Show" is a fundamental change in the way television programs will be produced. If this succeeds, and by all accounts, it will, you can look for ABC, CBS, and FOX to counter program using similar strategies.
Leno is a juggernaut. He constantly beat Letterman in late night ratings, and Letterman has a contract with CBS through 2010. It's not inconceivable that CBS could easily bring good 'ol Dave into that 9 o'clock slot. I wouldn't look for that to happen anytime soon, since he's already giving a pretty good drubbing to Conan O'Brien at 10:35.
In any case, Leno himself says he doesn't expect to beat ratings winners like "CSI: Miami," or similar shows with a large following.
It doesn't really matter, because in the long run, NBC will still be the winner, turning out twice as many original programs with Leno, at a cheaper cost than producing hour long crime and/or medical dramas that would normally fit into that time period.
So, how will this affect the talk show guest situation? Leno's already scooped up some serious star power with Jerry Seinfeld set to be the first guest on the program. Let's just hope this won't mean Conan gets the leftovers. In public, O'Brien seems very supportive of Jay. But still, you gotta wonder.
I'm personally looking forward to the show, which debuts Monday night. It promises to be funny in a number of different ways, and putting Brian Williams in there (among other comedy "correspondents"), is a cool touch.
Will it work? Who knows? Time will tell. NBC says it's giving Jay 2 years to find an audience.
That's a looooong time in the land of television programming. Very long indeed.
We'll see what happens.