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Leno out, Fallon in perhaps?

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by scottjf8, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. Mar 4, 2013 #21 of 123
    terpfan1980

    terpfan1980 It's Just TV TCF Club

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    What kept NBC from keeping Conan and letting Leno walk back when that whole "thing" came to pass was Leno's contract. NBC made a decision based on counting the beans. Letting Leno leave meant paying him a lot more than they'd have to pay Conan so they let Conan walk.

    If Conan's ratings had been higher, they might have opted to let Leno leave and just take the financial hit, but with sinking ratings, and a lower cost to keep Leno, NBC just let Conan go.

    That contract that was in effect when faced with that earlier choice is coming to an end. NBC can extend that contract and lock themselves into more time with Leno (which could mean lower ratings throughout the contract), or they can pay a much smaller fee for kicking Leno to the curb, if they pay anything at all (depending on when they make a change over to someone else).

    As noted by others here, Kimmel is giving Leno and Letterman both a good run for the money in the ratings, especially in key demographics and that will likely continue to get worse as the Leno fans are aging quickly.

    Leno may not want to leave, but he may find himself without a home, or at least without the old Tonight Show home. It could get very interesting to see him having to go off to another net or cable channel.
     
  2. Mar 4, 2013 #22 of 123
    scooterboy

    scooterboy Coney Island Small

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    Maybe TBS will put him on after Conan.


    :D
     
  3. Mar 4, 2013 #23 of 123
    DevdogAZ

    DevdogAZ Give em Hell, Devils

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    The thing is, networks simply aren't going to get the ratings that they used to get, no matter what they put on the air. So NBC is likely unhappy with Leno's ratings, but then they'll replace him with someone and that person will likely get lower ratings, and they'll blame it on the new person, when in fact, it's just a fact of the new media world - there are too many choices and people under 30 aren't really into the standard late-night talk show format.
     
  4. Mar 4, 2013 #24 of 123
    Jesda

    Jesda CAPTAIN AWESOME

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    Leno is adequately inoffensive.

    I find Fallon to be equally dull with a handful of shining moments.


    Blech.
     
  5. Mar 4, 2013 #25 of 123
    terpfan1980

    terpfan1980 It's Just TV TCF Club

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    That's what is so ironic about how the Conan vs. Jay Leno situation went down. NBC wasn't pleased with the ratings that they were getting from Conan but Conan was being handed a dwindling audience thanks to, in large part, Jay Leno and NBC's own dearth or attractive programming earlier in the night.

    If Conan had taken over when NBC had a more competitive slate of programming and there wasn't a chance that Leno could be brought back from waiting in the wings, then Conan might have done better and NBC might have better ratings for Tonight at this point. Conan left for another outlet and took some share of the audience with him, some left for Letterman, and some has jumped over to Kimmel, and others still have moved on completely. As you've noted, it's a changed landscape for sure.

    Now, a few years later, Leno's numbers continue to dwindle and competition from ABC is getting stronger. It will cost NBC much, much less to kick Leno to the curb and won't cost them much to hand off the Tonight time slot to Fallon (or someone else) if they opt to. They obviously hope that whomever takes over is appealing to young males and others in the key demographics so they can at least keep Tonight profitable for the network.

    Again, the ironic thing is that Conan's Tonight show was supposedly profitable. Barely so, but at least it was there. Leno's performance was definitely better and he did bring the numbers back up for a while, but lately he seems to be sliding and Kimmel seems to have a head of steam built up now.

    Worse still for NBC is that if they can't get the audience back for Tonight and it's follow-on, and that audience instead goes with Kimmel, then the audience may very well stick with ABC's morning programming which gives Good Morning America a boost while lowering Today's ratings. (Which was absolutely on their mind when looking at the Jay Leno vs. Conan situation)

    I don't blame NBC for looking hard at the situation now, but I think it's sad that they lost a talented late night host to a competitor because they couldn't figure out how to phase Leno out in a way that would work for everyone involved.
     
  6. Mar 4, 2013 #26 of 123
    mattack

    mattack Active Member

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    I really need to read my copy of "The War for Late Night"..

    But you're really claiming that they'd've had to pay Leno more than $45 million?

    (Letterman is the only one of them that I watch entire shows of - but even that is VERY backed up, and I watch faster than realtime.. I used to even convert to audio podcast so I could listen at 2x -- I get the vast majority of the comedy just from the audio. But I record the others for various funny bits throughout the week.)

    It's actually kind of weird how they talk about Fallon having the young demo, but what I like is the common game show bits he does, and at least some of those (e.g. Password) are homages to a way older demo than me! I think his various games are the entertaining part of the show, and I watch those & some musical guests, and ignore the rest of the show the vast majority of the time.
    (He could be a really good game show host.)
     
  7. Mar 4, 2013 #27 of 123
    Jesda

    Jesda CAPTAIN AWESOME

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    If anything, Fallon fans will find that an earlier time slot will result in watered down comedy to please a wider audience, just like when Conan briefly took over the Tonight Show.

    I say, leave the schedule the way it is until Jay chooses to retire.
     
  8. Mar 4, 2013 #28 of 123
    JYoung

    JYoung Series 3

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    Clarification: Before the Jay Leno Show premiered in September, O'Brien had lost a good chunk of Leno's Tonight Show audience in the previous three months, but he was still beating Letterman (most of the time).

    Certainly, Leno's show and the NBC execs' "Programming for profit, not ratings" didn't help matters but Leno's lower lead in ratings were affecting the local news broadcast ratings more than O'Brien's ratings.

    Between the complaints from the local affiliates about Leno's lead-in and the Letterman Blackmail story suddenly jumping Dave's ratings much higher and beating O'Brien consistently, NBC panicked and pulled O'Brien.



    As I recall, Leno had a "Pay or Play" clause in his contract in that he had a guaranteed two years, otherwise NBC would have to pay him $150 million and he'd be free to go look for a job on another network.
     
  9. Mar 5, 2013 #29 of 123
    brianric

    brianric Active Member

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    That's what I read.
     
  10. Mar 5, 2013 #30 of 123
    DevdogAZ

    DevdogAZ Give em Hell, Devils

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    I remember the number being $140 million, but either way, it's significantly more than the $40+ million that it took to buy out Conan.
     
  11. Mar 5, 2013 #31 of 123
    MikeAndrews

    MikeAndrews Registered abuser

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    Read it. Leno has a "pay AND play" contract. NBC had to pay him AND they had to keep him on the air. That's why he got the earlier show.

    As above, Leno can't stand the thought of not being on TV.
     
  12. Mar 5, 2013 #32 of 123
    lew

    lew Active Member

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    Leno had a pay AND play clause in his contract for his prime time show. Giving Leno agreeing to take the Tonight back was the only way to cancel his prime time show.

    I have read anything which suggests he currently has such a clause. I've read Leno is making around 15 million, Fallon around 5 million. Moving Falloon up might improve the target demographic ratings and should save a few dollars.
     
  13. Mar 5, 2013 #33 of 123
    DevdogAZ

    DevdogAZ Give em Hell, Devils

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    I don't see any reason why Leno would agree to give up that clause or the salary he was getting when he moved to prime time. That clause saved his butt before. Why would he give it up? And if he did give it up, what would stop NBC from just canning him right after that?

    I'm guessing the terms of the deal he signed before the prime time show are still in place and they all simply agreed that his hosting The Tonight Show in place of the prime time show would fulfill the terms of the agreement.
     
  14. Mar 5, 2013 #34 of 123
    mattack

    mattack Active Member

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    Funny thing is (no pun intended), as much as I pick on Leno's reign on the TS (but he was funnier as a guest host waaaay back when), I somewhat defend his prime time show. It *wasn't* exactly the same as the TS, and had some funny bits that were significantly different (e.g. Adam Carolla bits). I think a few, but not all, have migrated back to TS, but originated on the prime time show.
     
  15. Mar 6, 2013 #35 of 123
    Jesda

    Jesda CAPTAIN AWESOME

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    Apparently neither could NBC if they approved such a strange contract.
     
  16. Mar 6, 2013 #36 of 123
    gossamer88

    gossamer88 HDTV Snob

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    There's a rumor Howard Stern will take the Fallon slot. That would be awesome!
     
  17. Mar 6, 2013 #37 of 123
    JimSpence

    JimSpence Just hangin'

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    Regardless of ratings, I prefer Craig as well!!
    I record all of the late night shows and watch the ones that look interesting.
     
  18. Mar 16, 2013 #38 of 123
    brianric

    brianric Active Member

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  19. Mar 16, 2013 #39 of 123
    wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

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    Relevant bit:

    'NBC has aggressively denied recent reports that it plans to replace Jay Leno soon as host of “The Tonight Show,”'

    Irrelevant bit:

    "but the network’s top entertainment executive, Robert Greenblatt, recently stirred up a bit of a feud with the late-night star over jokes about the network." and the rest of the article.

    Mr. Greenblatt may have a thin skin, but it's not going to get Leno fired.
     
  20. Mar 16, 2013 #40 of 123
    MikeAndrews

    MikeAndrews Registered abuser

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    Leno's jokes about NBC are a sign that Leno thinks NBC is going to dump him. During the Conan fiasco Leno made many quips about NBC throwing out the show at the top with the highest ratings.
     

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