Uploaded 24/05/2016 15:19
I cannot express in mere words how angry I am with NBC's decision to hand The Tonight Show back to Jay Leno, the comedy anti-Christ, so I'll do it with a drawing instead.
For those of you not keeping score, Conan O'Brien was given The Tonight Show in June 2009, only to have it ripped out of his hands seven months later. Seven fucking months. The sitcom with the talking baby lasted longer than that. It wasn't that Conan's ratings were that bad (although admittedly, they weren't great)... the fault lies entirely with Jay Leno's refusal to leave NBC gracefully, and the affiliates' frustration with Leno's 10PM show, which convinced viewers to stampede to other networks in droves.
Gee, who knew a badly produced variety show with an unfunny comedian would fail against the mature, lavishly budgeted dramas that traditionally appear in the 10PM time slot? Leno must have at least suspected it. The Jay Leno Show was just the anchor he needed to keep himself at NBC, giving him a chance to slip back into his old late night seat the moment he smelled blood. He drew that blood himself, effectively nullifying Conan as the network's late night keystone while dropping his ratings through the floor with a series that was terrible even by Leno's low standards.
Forget all the "nice guy" bullshit... Leno is the television industry's answer to Machiavelli. He hid behind a door at an NBC meeting to give himself an edge against David Letterman when Johnny Carson retired. He stole talent from other performers without a second thought. He'll dig into the deepest, most viscous dirt to smear his competitors. He'll do anything, say anything, and screw anyone to keep his claws on The Tonight Show, and Conan O'Brien is just the latest victim of his mad obsession.
Well, Leno got what he wanted... and he made yet another enemy in the process. How many bridges can you burn in Hollywood before you drown, anyway? We'll find out come September. As for NBC, I hope it was worth sacrificing your Generation X audience for Leno, because after this mess, they won't be coming back.