Sunday, January 10, 2010

Leno Done At 10 PM; Should Start A Saturday Night Show

I predicted it in my blog November 30 and indeed my prediction came true. Leno at 10 is cancelled. Remember 5 years ago, NBC wanted Jay Leno out of the Tonight Show and away from 11:30 PM. NBC didn't want Leno to go to the competition. The solution, give him a10PM show, build cheap programming, and save money. What NBC didn't predict was that their local affiliates would complain because the 11PM new ratings would also suffer. So now they want to admit their mistake and return Jay to 11:30PM. The problem is that Conan is there and bringing Jay back won't bring back earlier rating success. The answer for Jay Leno is NOT a do-over.

The answer is to keep Conan at 11:30PM and move The Jay Leno Show to Saturday from 9 - 11PM. Turn his show into a comedy, variety, talk show. Currently, Saturday night is filled with repeats so a fresh show can only improve ratings that night. Perhaps consider moving Jay's show to Vegas and visit some of the great acts and personalities that fill the strip. Jay could become the next great host. But Jay has to update his act. Having watched comedy bits from his show, Jay is getting low brow, with too many sexual references, not acceptable for prime time. He needs to clean up the act. And a Saturday Night show could be the best solution for all.

NBC seems to want to go backwards and that won't work. Jay won't regain earlier ratings; that magic is lost. And letting Conan leave the network to move to Fox only starts competition that you were trying to avoid by keeping Jay in the first place. And Jimmy Fallon is your future so you don't want to screw that up either.

NBC has dug itself into a hole. The Saturday night show for Jay (or Conan) is the solution; a half hour Jay show from 11:30 PM to 12 is not. Get it right