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Old 01-12-2010, 02:41 PM   #46
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Conan O’Brien Says He Won’t Host ‘Tonight Show’ Following Leno - Media Decoder Blog -

January 12, 2010, 3:10 pm
Conan O’Brien Says He Won’t Host ‘Tonight Show’ Following Leno

Conan O’Brien says he will not host “The Tonight Show” if it is moved to 12:05 a.m.

In a statement Tuesday afternoon, Mr. O’Brien said he cannot participate “in what I honestly believe is its destruction.”

Last week NBC outlined a plan to move “The Jay Leno Show” to 11:35 p.m. in March, elbowing Mr. O’Brien’s “Tonight Show” back half an hour. Mr. Leno seems supportive of the plan; but in his statement, Mr. O’Brien rejects it outright. The statement reads:

People of Earth:

In the last few days, I’ve been getting a lot of sympathy calls, and I want to start by making it clear that no one should waste a second feeling sorry for me. For 17 years, I’ve been getting paid to do what I love most and, in a world with real problems, I’ve been absurdly lucky. That said, I’ve been suddenly put in a very public predicament and my bosses are demanding an immediate decision.

Six years ago, I signed a contract with NBC to take over The Tonight Show in June of 2009. Like a lot of us, I grew up watching Johnny Carson every night and the chance to one day sit in that chair has meant everything to me. I worked long and hard to get that opportunity, passed up far more lucrative offers, and since 2004 I have spent literally hundreds of hours thinking of ways to extend the franchise long into the future. It was my mistaken belief that, like my predecessor, I would have the benefit of some time and, just as important, some degree of ratings support from the prime-time schedule. Building a lasting audience at 11:30 is impossible without both.

But sadly, we were never given that chance. After only seven months, with my Tonight Show in its infancy, NBC has decided to react to their terrible difficulties in prime-time by making a change in their long-established late night schedule.

Last Thursday, NBC executives told me they intended to move the Tonight Show to 12:05 to accommodate the Jay Leno Show at 11:35. For 60 years the Tonight Show has aired immediately following the late local news. I sincerely believe that delaying the Tonight Show into the next day to accommodate another comedy program will seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting. The Tonight Show at 12:05 simply isn’t the Tonight Show. Also, if I accept this move I will be knocking the Late Night show, which I inherited from David Letterman and passed on to Jimmy Fallon, out of its long-held time slot. That would hurt the other NBC franchise that I love, and it would be unfair to Jimmy.

So it has come to this: I cannot express in words how much I enjoy hosting this program and what an enormous personal disappointment it is for me to consider losing it. My staff and I have worked unbelievably hard and we are very proud of our contribution to the legacy of The Tonight Show. But I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction. Some people will make the argument that with DVRs and the Internet a time slot doesn’t matter. But with the Tonight Show, I believe nothing could matter more.

There has been speculation about my going to another network but, to set the record straight, I currently have no other offer and honestly have no idea what happens next. My hope is that NBC and I can resolve this quickly so that my staff, crew, and I can do a show we can be proud of, for a company that values our work.

Have a great day and, for the record, I am truly sorry about my hair; it’s always been that way.



After 16 years making a name with his distinctive brand of intellectually silly comedy on NBC’s “Late Night” show, Mr. O’Brien replaced Mr. Leno as the host of “The Tonight Show” a mere seven months ago. He is just the fifth man to lead ”Tonight,” after Steve Allen, Jack Paar, Johnny Carson and Mr. Leno.

Mr. Leno, meanwhile, moved to prime time in September as the host of “The Jay Leno Show.” But the 10 p.m. experiment was a bust for many NBC affiliates, which have seen the ratings for their late local newscasts plummet.

Amid mounting pressure to scrap the talk show, NBC announced on Sunday that Mr. Leno’s last show at 10 p.m. would be Feb. 11. NBC will begin showing the Winter Olympics the next day, setting the stage for a new schedule on March 1. But the network acknowledged that day that Mr. O’Brien was not yet on board with the move.

Fox has expressed interest in starting a late-night show starring Mr. O’Brien — provided he found a way to extricate himself from his NBC contract. The contractual complications were outlined in this story in Tuesday’s New York Times.

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Old 01-12-2010, 02:53 PM   #47
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Good for him.

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Old 01-12-2010, 03:06 PM   #48
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This is gonna get ugly.
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Old 01-12-2010, 03:16 PM   #49
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NBC should have just cancelled the Jay Leno show and put in other programming from 10 - 11.

I guess they feared spending money to produce new shows. It looks like they may lose money anyway if, as daygloeyes2 said, this gets ugly.
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Old 01-12-2010, 03:22 PM   #50
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NBC should have just left shows like Southland on and leave that type of programing on.
I am glad that Conan spoke out, I believe that doing this will improve (Not that it was tarnished) his image.

BTW, TNT now has Southland.
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Old 01-12-2010, 03:31 PM   #51
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Classy statement.
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Old 01-12-2010, 03:33 PM   #52
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So, Jay Leno kills NBC's local news ratings and they take it out on Conan? Good times.

Jay Leno is awfully unfunny.
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Old 01-12-2010, 03:42 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by No spoken words View Post
As for blaming Leno, that's absurd. You don't think he's funny? Neither do I. But, he's allowed to express his desired and if NBC kowtows, that's on them, not him. So, if you feel like you have to get worked up about the entertainment business and need someone to blame, blame NBC.
I dont fully agree with this. Sure, NBC fucked up royally, but Leno knows what kind of clout he has. He knows how his wants are going to affect hundreds of other people. Does he have a right to express his desires to NBC? Sure he does. But in my opinion, a better person would first weigh the implications of his desires against what they will do to other people. He should've just left gracefully in the first place instead of hogging the spotlight
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Old 01-12-2010, 03:43 PM   #54
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Good for him
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Old 01-12-2010, 03:44 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by phillyfan26 View Post
Jay Leno is awfully unfunny.

If Conan goes and Leno is reinstated, I will never, under any circumstances, watch him again. That's a promise.
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Old 01-12-2010, 03:55 PM   #56
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Conan had a neutered Tonight Show anyways.
I never felt it ever got in a groove. His whole vibe is East Coast, all of the funny stuff like Brian McCann's skits were pushed back and mostly what I saw was lame shit trying to placate the Leno holdover audience. I couldn't tell you in how many ways that show was a shell of Late Night. Same thing happened to Letterman, it's just a different demographic to appeal to.

I don't really feel sorry for Conan, even though I've been a fan since the show started (lots of bowls were smoked by friends and myself in those early days) but he's the one who wanted to try and forcefit his comedy into that demo. Can't blame him either.

Just the whole thing was fucking lame. The LA tourist crowd, the studio on Universal's lot, most of the clever or even goofy shit was pushed back so he could tell another TMZ-reference joke. He was better in NYC using his wit and absurdity to it's fullest.

So actually, while I'm as big of a Conan fan as anyone around here, I think this is a good thing. Justice is that he would be able to go to FOX, do HIS-style of show and kick Leno's ass. That won't happen though, because Leno appeals to a wider audience.
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Old 01-12-2010, 05:10 PM   #57
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sorry...moved this to the Conan thread.
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Old 01-12-2010, 05:26 PM   #58
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Well, you might as well leave it in this one since we're discussing this ongoing saga in here, and all of three posts about the situation are in the Conan thread. No one actually wants to talk about Leno's show itself.
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Old 01-12-2010, 06:05 PM   #59
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Old 01-12-2010, 06:31 PM   #60
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I think Conan's statement says it all

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jay leno, the jay leno show

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