Conan would need to be free to produce the show that HE wants to produce. A big reason that the Tonight Show under Conan was a lame duck was that he and his writers (the EXACT SAME staff as the successful Late Night show) were handcuffed to some ridiculous standard of 11:35p needing to be tamer.
That makes no sense; after watching an hour of Law & Order where pimps are killing prostitutes and getting shot and whatnot, then watching the uber-depressing local news, why would the Tonight Show need to have tame jokes?
Because the sensibility and type of humor that worked at 12:30 doesn't necessarily translate to the much larger and broader audience at 11:30. There is a lot more money at stake and a lot more jobs, and things have to be played safer. Letterman did the same thing, The Late Show
is just a shadow of the greatness that was Late Night
. But he knew that when he took the job.
Spot's Meow wrote:
It's sad and funny, that Leno thinks the NBC executives are now snakes. What did he expect? That they are okay screwing over others but would never do it to him?
Well, exactly, especially considering that Leno owes his whole career of the last 30 years to one David Letterman.
the G-man wrote:
Listen, I think Conan is much funnier than Jay. But the fact of the matter was that Jay was basically fired from a job he was successful at (commercially anyway) and loved. He was replaced by a guy who didn't get as high ratings so they asked him back. I don't see how that's his fault or why he should have refused to take back the gig, especially when it would have probably just led to Fallon or someone else replacing Conan.
If anything, it's the suits who orchestrated the change and then panicked when Conan wasn't an overnight sensation who deserve the blame.
Agreed, it's not Leno's fault, the execs took the short-term view in '10 (just like they had in '92). Leno is in his 60s, he is not going to keep his audience forever. If NBC had bit the bullet, kept Conan on Tonight
and rode out the ratings slump, they had a good chance of securing a new generation of viewers. All they did by caving in to Leno was prolong the inevitable, and now they have to try again.