Sunday, January 24, 2010

Conan Spends NBC's Money Until The End Movies - [TV] Conan Spends NBC's Money Until The End:

"Conan O'Brien continued to spend lots of NBC's money right up to the end of his run on the network. The Roots drummer Questlove, who is also the house band leader for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, said that NBC paid out $500,000 for Tom Hanks to come out to Lovely Rita by the Beatles."

Future at Fox far from certain for Conan O'Brien

Z on TV: Future at Fox far from certain for Conan O'Brien - Sun critic David Zurawik writes about the business, culture and craziness of television -

"After a surreal week of high emotion and comic abuse of NBC on 'The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien,' the 46-year-old host is gone for good from the network's airwaves after only seven months in Johnny Carson's old chair.

But the story of this misguided adventure in prime-time and late-night programming by NBC's top brass is far from over. The narrative of O'Brien being pushed out of the job he prepared himself for over five years to make room for Jay Leno, who failed miserably in prime time, demands some discussion about what happens next to the redhead."

Conan O'Brien's final monologue: 'Nobody in life gets what they thought they were going to get'

Conan O'Brien's final monologue: 'Nobody in life gets what they thought they were going to get' |

"So long, Coco. In Conan O’Brien’s final comments to viewers tonight, the comedian thanked his fans for their support and — despite a protracted and ugly negotiation – gave a shout-out to NBC, his home for more than 20 years. Here is tonight’s final monologue:

Ladies and gentleman, we have exactly one hour to steal every single item in this studio. We’ve a had a lot of fun being here these last 7 months, but like everything in life, the fun has to come to an end a decade too early. The terms of my settlement say that I can’t host another show for 7 months. So next week look forward to the `Andy Richter Show’ with his sidekick, me! As I set off for exciting new career opportunities, I just want to make one thing clear to everyone listening out there: I will do nudity."

Conan O'Brien's farewell attracts big ratings

Conan O'Brien's farewell attracts big ratings |

"Not surprisingly, the last edition of The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien was a ratings magnet for the ailing NBC. The comedian, who talked about how he “did it my way” and did not “regret a second,” earned a whopping 7.0 rating/16 share in 55 of the country’s metered markets (the most immediate numbers available). Ratings for his fellow latenight hosts didn’t even come close"

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Conan O'Brien Leaving NBC WIth Large Payout, Leno Back To 'Tonight Show'

Conan O'Brien Leaving NBC WIth Large Payout, Leno Back To 'Tonight Show': Daily Beast:

"The Daily Beast's Kim Masters reports that Conan O'Brien will exit NBC with a large payout and no noncompete clause in a deal negotiated by Universal President Ron Meyer:

According to the outlines of a settlement, Conan O'Brien will leave NBC and the network will make an as-yet unspecified payment. The comedian will be free to appear elsewhere on television well before his contract expires, despite earlier threats from NBC that it would prevent him from working anywhere else."

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

NBC Executive Dick Ebersol Trashes Conan: 'Astounding Failure,' 'Chicken-Hearted And Gutless'

NBC Executive Dick Ebersol Trashes Conan: 'Astounding Failure,' 'Chicken-Hearted And Gutless':

"NBC executive Dick Ebersol trashed Conan O'Brien in a provocative interview with the New York Times' Bill Carter, calling Conan an 'astounding failure' and saying his jokes about Jay Leno have been 'chicken-hearted and gutless.'

Ebersol, the chairman of NBC Universal Sports and NBC's Olympics guru, lit up on Conan just after his boss, NBC Universal President Jeff Zucker, reportedly threatened to keep Conan off the air for 3.5 years.

Ebersol described Conan's jokes about Leno as 'chicken-hearted and gutless to blame a guy you couldn't beat in the ratings.'

He added, 'what this is really all about is an astounding failure by Conan."

Monday, January 18, 2010

Ratings soaring for O'Brien as nasty exit nears

My Way News - Ratings soaring for O'Brien as nasty exit nears:

"Conan O'Brien's battle with his network certainly hasn't hurt his ratings. With his jabs at NBC network executives apparently resonating in a country filled with the unemployed, viewership has soared. O'Brien's ratings have been rising through the week, which was an extraordinary one in late-night television and saw O'Brien and David Letterman hurling barbed remarks at Jay Leno, and Leno firing back.

'Tonight' ratings Friday were 50 percent higher than they've been this season, and O'Brien beat CBS' Letterman, according to a preliminary Nielsen Co. estimate based on large markets. In the 18-to-49-year-old demographic that NBC relies on to set advertising prices, O'Brien even beat Leno's prime-time show."

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Leno vs. Conan: Working class vs. Harvard kid?

Leno vs. Conan: Working class vs. Harvard kid? :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Entertainment:

"One aspect of NBC’s Jay Leno-Conan O’Brien crisis that hasn’t really come out is that the open rift between Leno and O’Brien actually stems from a long-simmering mini-feud.

Conversations with veteran staff members and friends of both comics reveal there never has been any chemistry between the two men, something an NBC executive tells me ‘‘should really come as no surprise.’’"

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Jerry Seinfeld defends NBC late night |

Jerry Seinfeld defends NBC late night |

"Jerry Seinfeld has waded into the discussion of NBC’s recent late-night schedule shuffles. The Hollywood Reporter quotes the comedian as calling Jay Leno’s 10 p.m. show “the right idea at the wrong time,” adding, “I’m proud that NBC had the guts to try something.”

Seinfeld also dismissed suggestions that Conan O’Brien’s Tonight Show has been mishandled by NBC. “What did the network do to him? I don’t think anyone’s preventing people from watching Conan. Once they give you the cameras, it’s on you. I can’t blame NBC for having to move things around.”"

Scoop: Will next week be O’Brien’s last on ‘Tonight’?

Scoop: Will next week be O’Brien’s last on ‘Tonight’? - The Scoop-

"Will next week be Conan O’Brien’s last? ESPN columnist Bill Simmons tweeted earlier this morning, “FYI: Next week is Conan’s final week hosting the Tonight Show. His staff is trying to book big guests so he goes out with a bang. It’s true.”

A similar story on reported the same information, attributing it to 'a source close to O'Brien.'

If it’s true, it’s a closely guarded secret at the time of the writing. Several staffers on both Jay Leno and O’Brien’s shows seemed genuinely surprised by the latest rumor."

Friday, January 15, 2010

Conan: 'If NBC Doesn't Want People To See Me, Just Leave Me On NBC'

Conan: 'If NBC Doesn't Want People To See Me, Just Leave Me On NBC' (VIDEO):

"Conan O'Brien continues to ramp up the verbal barrage against NBC, hammering the network over its own airwaves while he spends what could be the last days of his tenure on the 'Tonight Show.'

'Everybody knows NBC and I are having a little tiff right now,' he said Thursday. 'There's a rumor that NBC is so upset with me that want to keep me off the air for three years. My response to that is if NBC doesn't want people to see me, just leave me on NBC.'"

Leno Doesn't Address Conan's Statement in Monologue

Leno Doesn't Address Conan's Statement in Monologue:

"Jay Leno apparently decided against addressing Conan O'Brien's refusal to move The Tonight Show back a half-hour and follow Leno's return to 11:35 p.m.

Unlike on Monday, he started The Jay Leno Show with material that had nothing to do with him and the upheaval at NBC, cracking a couple notable jokes about his own program, according to pre-airtime transcripts:"

Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien Continue Taking Swipes at Each Other |

Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien Continue Taking Swipes at Each Other |

"The late-night wars flourished Thursday night on NBC between Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien.

During his monologue on 'The Jay Leno Show,' Jay made a few jokes at NBC and Conan's expense, E! Online reports.

'In other TV news, Sarah Palin has signed with Fox News to be a correspondent. Fox says, if she does a good job, they'll sign her to a long-term contract. And if it doesn't work out, they'll just blame Leno,' he quipped."

Making Cents of the NBC Late Night War

Comcast is working hard to make money with their new baby NBC. It's no secret that NBC has underperformed against the competition for years. The days of Cheers, Seinfeld, L.A. Law, Friends and E.R. are all now syndicated and DVD memories. However, the one piece of real estate that NBC could rely on for decades was The Tonight Show. Except for Letterman/Viacom, the Tonight Show until recently has done a great job at winning the ratings war.

The cost of producing a late night talk show takes very little overhead and in this era of cost cutting, NBC moving Jay Leno to primetime back in September, seemed like an easy fix for the now badly wounded network. Leno has been a late night fixture for over 17 years. By moving him into primetime and handing the Late Night reigns over to Conan O'Brien seemed like a natural and refreshing move.

The one thing NBC has done right for the past few years is holding on tight to their fourth place rating among US networks. As NBC ratings and ad dollars dwindled, Leno's new slot was poised to stand out from his prime-time competitors by putting a topical comedy in a time slot dominated by scripted dramas.

Keep in mind that a drama can cost as much as five times to produce than a talk show. Although the price tag for a prime time program is much more costly, a successful drama can recoup the money later down the road with DVD sales and syndication. Late night depends on the moment to make its money by relying on high ratings to keep the ad dollars coming in night after night.

In addition, to enable a smooth transition into the new time slot, NBC reassured advertisers that they would receive an opportunity to take part by integrating their brand into the fabric of the nightly show. Leno's audience was expected to follow him to his new time slot where he would cram advertising plugs into his program. Also, this would be a win for local affiliates, as Leno would also give live teasers for upcoming local 11pm news broadcasts. Jay would say 'your local news is coming up next'. After 20 seasons of Law and Order creator Dick Wolf would never allow defense or prosecution to utter those words.

Back in May, when Jeff Zucker (NBC/Universal's Chief Executive) made this daring programming decision nobody could have predicted the public relations and rating nightmare now at hand. In addition to potentially losing one of their talented hosts to the competition, NBC is at risk of damaging the Tonight Show franchise (created in 1954 by Pat Weaver/father of Avatar actress Sigourney Weaver).

As luck would have it, Mr. O'Brien's ratings were falling just about the same time that Mr. Letterman was giving people a fresh reason to tune in, by confessing to his indiscretions with regards to his affair with a staff member. By simply restoring the pre-September line-up isn't the quick fix that NBC needs. The late night landscape has changed vastly due to the fact that edgier cable comedians, notably Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, have redefined late-night TV (also owned by Viacom).

Regarding Mr. O'Brien, his future has never been brighter. As his team renegotiate's for a possible 12:05 am programming slot, Fox has now announced that they want to talk Conan! Carefully however, since Fox has swept their late night tragedy ever so carefully under the programming rug. Anyone remember The Chevy Chase show that died a quick death after only 5 weeks on the air back in 1993? Fox 'currently' holds the prize for having the biggest failure in late night television history unless NBC decides to garner that title too.

Article Source:


“THE JAY LENO SHOW” RECAP – TAKE THAT, NBC! - Hollywood Celebrity and Entertainment Daily News:

"Jay Leno is taking a lot of heat - and being painted as the bad guy in the whole primetime vs late night NBC debacle.

Conan O’Brien refused NBC’s offer to split the late night line up into strange time blocks, Leno has reportedly resigned to The Tonight Show - and bloggers as well as the more vocal celebrities are urging Leno to retire for good."

'Chicken-Hearted,' 'Gutless' Conan O'Brien Reportedly Has Deal to Leave NBC

'Chicken-Hearted,' 'Gutless' Conan O'Brien Reportedly Has Deal to Leave NBC | Movieline:

"Well! The road is smoothing out a bit after arguably the most turbulent day in late-night history. While we’d already heard that next week would be Conan O’Brien’s last on The Tonight Show, a report published late Thursday states that O’Brien has reached a settlement with NBC that would get him paid and allow him back on the air at a competing network within months. If, that is, the host can safely extract himself from the beak of a rabid peacock that very, very publicly chewed into him this morning."

Conan vs. Leno: The Last Great TV Scheduling War

Conan vs. Leno: The Last Great TV Scheduling War | Tech Broiler |

"For those of you living under a rock this week or more concerned with people dying in the thousands due to a horrible earthquake, you might have missed the recent brouhaha caused by NBC television’s desire to move Jay Leno’s show, which is currently experiencing lousy ratings due to a perceived loss of his old core audience, back into his old Tonight Show time slot at 11:35PM, cut his show to a half hour long and shuffle the actual Tonight Show time slot a half hour ahead to 12:05. Got that? Ok.

Conan O’Brien, the host of the Tonight Show has effectively told NBC to go shove it — either he stays in the time slot that his show has occupied for the last 60 years, or he walks, presumably to somewhere else where he is appreciated."

Jay Leno’s shuffle no joke for Conan -

Jay Leno’s shuffle no joke for Conan -

"Jay Leno may be having the last laugh now that he’s got his old time slot back - but fellow Bay State TV comic Conan O’Brien isn’t amused.

The Brookline-bred O’Brien is reportedly fuming over NBC’s latest late-night shuffle - and may jump ship to Fox."

NBC kills Jay Leno show, but Conan's fate unclear

NBC kills Jay Leno show, but Conan's fate unclear - MarketWatch:

"NBC has unveiled its post-Winter Olympics lineup, officially canceling 'The Jay Leno Show,' but the network offered no comment on reports that Conan O'Brien will leave the network as Leno reassumes his role as host of 'The Tonight Show.'

Late Thursday, the network, owned by General Electric said the 10 p.m. slot currently occupied by the failed Leno program will include, beginning in early March, the 20th season of 'Law & Order' on Monday nights, a new drama called 'Parenthood,' based on the 1989 film of the same name on Tuesdays, and 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit' on Wednesday evenings."