They then plan to move Jay Leno back to a time slot just after the evening news – and now, pending a deal with Conan O’Brien (who had stepped in to take over the “Tonight” slot after Leno moved out), seems ready to return Leno to his old Tonight Show digs. As a “bonus” survey question this week I asked readers if any of these machinations would change their late night loyalties.
The “good” news (at least from the standpoint of NBC execs) is that it doesn’t seem to be having much of an impact – of course, that’s also the bad news.
Consider that a significant 45.2% of this week’s respondents said that none of this would have any impact – because they were in bed at that time. “I live on the east coast and 11:35 is far too late for anyone who must be at work by 8:00 am”, said one. Another noted that the “Last time I stayed up that late was to watch Johnny’s farewell show. Getting up at 4:30 precludes anything other than sleep when those shows come on”. Of course it may make a difference for some; one reader noted, “I was watching the beginning of the Leno show…but now it will be past my bedtime” – a sentiment echoed by another who said “I have enjoyed watching Leno at 10:00 because it was on before I went to sleep.”
Nearly 8% said there would be no impact because they were already watching something else.
The second-most common response wasn’t much more encouraging (unless you’re an NBC programming exec hoping that no one would notice) – nearly a third (31%) said that they couldn’t care less. “Since the Carson days are very long gone, I’m in bed at that time and this is a silly issue,” noted one. “Seriously?? With all that’s going on in Congress that can affect our individual freedoms and financial security, we’re worried about who gets the Tonight Show spot??” wondered another (hey – it was a BONUS question).
However, some were influenced by the move; nearly 8% said they would move with Leno, but 3.2% said they were moving to David Letterman, and another 3% said theywere moving with Conan (presumably once we know when – and where - that is).
There were a number of readers who saw a conspiracy in all this; “I think all of this was dreamed up by the parties involved to drum up ratings,” noted one. “I think that NBC moving Jay Leno to the 10:00 PM slot is similar to when Coca Cola introduced the "new" coke. It made folks realize that they liked some things as they were.”
Others saw it as a simple screw-up; “NBC executives have made themselves laughing stocks”, noted one reader. “Leno must own some controlling interest in NBC,” opined another.
One reader said “I'd like to work for the firm whose employees are awake and coherent at 11:30pm since I suspect that their alarm clocks sound much later than mine.” (Editor’s note: not necessarily).
Another had what was certainly a “unique” perspective: “I treat late night TV sorta like I do strip joints. At one time I went to them occasionally, but grew up and realized the error of my ways. Now, I do not know who's playing, who the players are and do not want any of that influence in my life.”
For those of us old enough to remember, one reader said simply “I miss Johnny Carson.”
“...and i really couldn't care less. Craig Ferguson is still on right after Letterman - all is right in the world! 🙂 Although, I have tried all four more than once. Sleep won out every time,” noted another.
But this week’s Bonus Survey Editor’sChoice goes to the reader who said “My loyalty that late is to my pillow”.
Thanks to everyone who participated in our bonus survey! Check out some additional comments on the following pages.
Bring back Drew Carey and company for Whose line is it anyway. Much better than anything else on late night. Rather have comedy than talk shows.
Jay should remain stepped aside. Years ago his network apparently told him that he would be taken out of this slot, and because he didn't have any viewers (because the show wasn't funny nor was it any different from his late night show), he decided he still wanted to be in the game. What he and NBC did to Conan---after he moved his family and whole life to the opposite coast---is deplorable. I hope Jay's show is roundly ignored, and Conan goes on to achieve great heights in the ratings game.
I am staying with Letterman and Ferguson, they are much better anyway. Leno is not man enough to accept his failure and is running home to his comfort zone. It's kind of like watching the Bret Favre dramas...how many times is he going to retire? Poor Conan is the one who is paying the penalty for Leno’s failure.
I watched Leno a couple times over the Christmas break. The man is not funny. Every so-called funny line was delivered with a desperation that tells me he knows he's reaching. I'd sooner watch nothing.
I am usually in bed, asleep at that time, but when I do stay up I usually watch Letterman. I have enjoyed watching Leno at 10:00 because it was on before I went to sleep.
I like Letterman because he's always been the underdog, but I'll honestly say I am usually watching House Hunters or something on my DVR at this time if I am not already asleep.
I'll be sticking with Letterman and Craig Ferguson. Never liked Leno to begin with.
I think that NBC moving Jay Leno to the 10:00 PM slot is similar to when Coca Cola introduced the "new" coke. It made folks realize that they liked some things as they were.
I'll watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, which are better shows than The Tonight Show will ever be with Jay Leno (who is pretty insipid, IMHO). I really think NBC blew it with this one.
If I watch anything at all, I watch Letterman.
Since the Carson days are very long gone, I'm in bed at that time and this is a silly issue; there are better ways to expend the personal energies being wasted here.
I treat late night TV sorta like I do strip joints. At one time I went to them occasionally, but grew up and realized the error of my ways. Now, I do not know who's playing, who the players are and do not want any of that influence in my life. TV has so much trash on it that I have put it in the same category. Fox News and some sports is all I do.
I'm a Letterman fan. Have been for years and will stick with CBS.
Whatever I watch, it won't be Jay Leno and it probably won't be on NBC.
My local FOX station plays reruns of Seinfeld and The Office after the news, so that’s what I watch.
I live on the east coast and 11:35 is far too late for anyone who must be at work by 8:00 am.
They should have left both shows alone and kept it everyone where they were.
Leno must own some controlling interest in NBC.
Seriously?? With all that's going on in Congress that can affect our individual freedoms and financial security, we're worried about who gets the Tonight Show spot??
I was watching the beginning of the Leno show...but now it will be past my bedtime
I very rarely watch anything on TV outside of a few sports games. I mainly watch movies from Netflix.
Long time Letterman fan. Can't stand either Leno or Conan. Leno isn't funny...his headlines are funny...his guests are funny...his sketches are funny...but the man himself isn't funny. Why don't more people see that???!!! It's like when singers who can't dance tries to make dance videos: they surround themselves with people who can dance in order to distract you from the fact that they aint got no rhythm!
Moving Leno to prime time 5 nights a week was a really dumb move. Was there demand for same old, same old? Was there lack of other programming? What were they thinking?
I'll go back to watching Jay's monologue, then lights out.
At least all this mess does NOT involve marital infidelity! Although I suppose it could be called that given the apparent breach of contract...
I watch Letterman.
Leno and Conan are done... we want Jimmy Kimmel to host "The Tonight Show".
Jay should find a new hobby. He's "so 2008."
Leno isn't funny. I like Letterman and Craig Ferguson.
Last time I stayed up that late was to watch Johnny's farewell show. Getting up at 4:30 precludes anything other than sleep when those shows come on.
...and i really couldn't care less. Craig Ferguson is still on right after Letterman - all is right in the world! 🙂
Although, I have tried all four more than once. Sleep won out every time.
Jay Leno took the chance and it failed. Jay Leno should bear the brunt of the reprecussions, not everyone else. But then he's an incredible whiner in my opinion and should never have been chosen to replace Johnny Carson in the first place. Some of us have very long memories!