Defending Leno


Will writes from Washington, D.C. (well, Arlington, Virginia). You can reach him at willblogcorrespondence at gmail dot com.

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3 Responses

  1. Mike Schilling says:

    NBC didn’t want to lose O’Brien, but also didn’t want Leno to take his successful show elsewhere. So programming chief Jeff Zucker tried to strike a compromise: He signed a deal with O’Brien guaranteeing that he would take over as host of the Tonight Show in 2009.

    That’s more or less how Leno got the Tonight Show, too: to avoid losing him as permanent guest host, NBC put it in his contract that he’d be Carson’s successor.

    The facts of the article seem in general correct, but its tone is relentlessly pro-Leno. E.g even though it took three years for Leno to win his time slot, Conan is branded a loser for not winning it immediately, and the effect of the horrific lead-in he was getting (from Leno, as it happens) is discounted.Report

  2. Trumwill says:

    Last doesn’t seem to fully appreciate the bum deal that O’Brien got, though he does point out the obvious: the cause of all these headaches is NBC’s ineptitude. They’re the ones that promised the show to O’Brien. They’re the ones that agreed to kick Leno out the door. They’re the ones that tried to keep Leno around by putting him in the earlier timeslot. They’re the ones that set both of their hot properties that they wanted to hold on to up to fail.

    NBC was once a great network, but now the only parts of the past they can repeat are the mistakes.Report