Submit Content  |  Subscribe  |  Customer Service  |  Place An Ad 
* Weather * Events * Visitor's Guide * Classifieds * Jobs * Cars * Homes * Apartments * Shopping * Dating


CiN Weekly
Community Press & Recorder
Data Center

John Kiesewetter on the world of local and national TV

Senior Entertainment Reporter John Kiesewetter has been covering TV and media issues for 20 years. After joining the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1975 as a summer intern, he worked as a county government and suburban reporter; assistant city editor and suburban editor; and features editor supervising the Life section. He has a B.S. in journalism from Ohio University.

Powered by Blogger

Monday, May 12, 2008

Pondering Leno's And Conan's Future

OK, the clock is ticking now on Jay Leno's exit from "The Tonight Show." NBC hiring Jimmy Fallon today to replace Conan O'Brien’s "Late Show" is the first step in the plan announced in 2004 for O'Brien to replace Leno next year.

No transition dates for either were announced by NBC announced, because Leno's future remains unresolved. Last Thursday night he joked in his monologue: "I'm getting inspired by Hillary (Clinton). Maybe I won't leave either!"

NBC wants to keep him someway; ABC, Fox and others want to sign Leno, who’s still the No. 1 late-night TV star. (If he opts to leave, NBC could quickly pull him off the air next year and install Conan.) See our AP story today:

So here are my questions:

--If you’re Jay Leno, what do you do? Stay with NBC? Jump to ABC (going head to head with Letterman and O'Brien?) or to Fox (would he do OK at 11 p.m. on Fox stations against local news?) or a syndication company (it worked for Arsenio, but not for most others)?

--If you’re Conan O'Brien, what do you do? Can you do the same humor at 11:35 p.m. that viewers like at 12:35 a.m.? Or must you change your style and comedy to appeal to the top-rated traditional "Tonight" audience? I think it's a double-edge sword: Remember how some Leno fans criticized him for going soft and changing his act to appease the 11:35 p.m. audience? Is Conan in the same can't-win situation moving to 11:35 p.m.? If he doesn't change, will "Tonight" show ratings drop? If he does change, will he lose his core viewers? It's a sticky situation... which likely will make David Letterman No. 1 again at 11:35 p.m.

If you're Leno and Conan, what do you do?


at 5/12/2008 1:54 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leno has already proven he's willing to play dirty to get what he wants and stay on top - such as hiding in a closet to hear NBC dump Johnny - abandoning his long-time ally when she got caught up in the late night scheduling wars - and stealing talent from the Howard Stern show and acting like its no big deal.

Conan's act is so stale anymore - and I don't think it will be well received at 11:30. I think NBC is in a really tough spot.

What will be the biggest shame is if ABC inks a deal with Leno. That will probably kill Nightline - and it will push back Jimmy Kimmel who - along with Craig Ferguson - has a really fun, and funny show.

at 5/12/2008 2:12 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leno would not be a destination people would seek out in you can toss that option out.

People asked the same "can you do it at 11:30" question about Letterman, and his first year was probably his best...then, in my opinion, Leno took Letterman's 12:30 humor, dumbed it down for the masses, and started winning.

So, that might be Jimmy Fallons best bet for success, start doing the stuff Conan did 5-10 years ago, only make it less clever and more obvious.

at 5/12/2008 2:32 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

For my money Kimmel has the funniest freshes show on latenight (major nets anyway.) Letterman and Leno are just plain boring. I don't watch Conan much but he seems better than L or L. To answer your question, if I'm Leno I stay with NBC, stay in So.Cal, drive my cars when I want and work when I want.

at 5/12/2008 8:10 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still can't believe that NBC is going to turn over the institution of the Tonight Show to Conan. He belongs at 12:30 - his humor is just plain dumb and he is not funny or entertaining. He is not the right fit for 11:30 and there are so many other candidates that would be better than him. He is getting the job just because he is being promoted to it, not because he deserves it.

at 5/12/2008 8:19 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still cannot believe that NBC is going to turn over the institution of the Tonight Show to Conan. He is not funny and he is not entertaining. His humor is just dumb and he acts juvenile. He belongs at 12:30. There are so many better candidates. He is getting the job because he is getting a promotion not because he deserves it. I think he will be a failure. His act gets old fast.

Post a Comment*

* Our online blogs currently are hosted and operated by a third party, namely, You are now leaving the Cincinnati.Com website and will be linked to's registration page. The site and its associated services are not controlled by Cincinnati.Com and different terms of use and privacy policy will apply to your use of the site and services.

By proceeding and/or registering with you agree and understand that Cincinnati.Com is not responsible for the site you are about to access or for any service you may use while on the site.

<< Home

Jim Borgman
Today at the Forum
Paul Daugherty
Politics Extra
N. Ky. Politics
Pop culture review
Who's News
Roller Derby Diva
CinStages Buzz....
The Foodie Report
Classical music
John Fay's Reds Insider
High school sports
UC Sports
CiN Weekly staff

Site Map:   Cincinnati.Com | |  Enquirer |  CiN Weekly |  CincinnatiUSA
Customer Service:   Search |  Subscribe Now |  Customer Service |  Place An Ad |  Contact Us
Classified Partners:   Jobs: |  Cars: |  Homes: HOMEfinder |  Apartments: |  Shopping:
Copyright © 1996-2005:   Use of this site signifies agreement to terms of service and privacy policy updated 10/05/2005