This has been a pretty crazy week in the late night scene.
For those that don’t know, Jay Leno’s 10pm show hasn’t been doing so great, so much so that many of the local affiliate stations wanted to ditch Jay Leno’s show. NBC seeing the writing on the wall made the very wise decision to cancel Jay’s 10 o’clock show. But here is where it gets a little weird. Instead of simply firing Jay, they made the decision to try and move the show back half an hour into the 11pm time slot and then move ‘The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien’ to 12 am and Jimmy Fallon to 1 am.
This decision by NBC was very quickly responded to by Conon O’Brien himself, who released a statement saying that he wouldn’t be moving his show back to 12 am because it wouldn’t be the same Tonight Show that he grew up with and loved. Conan’s refusal to move his show lead to a stand off (well kind of) between NBC and Conan O’Brien, as well as, some very hilarious nights on The Tonight Show.
NBC, in response to Conan’s refusal to move his show, made what is considered by most people, (well at lest most people I know), to be a very unwise choice of having Jay Leno take over the Tonight Show again, after his failed attempt at primetime and only 7 months after giving Conan the show.
NBC’s decision to give Leno back the Tonight Show didn’t sit well with Conan nor did it with the majority of people online. Even a few late night hosts in David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel have chimed in on this argument between Conan and NBC. But, all failed to change NBC’s mind on their decision and Conan ended his run with The Tonight Show on Friday.
But not without some hilarity. Conan clearly had a lot of fun with his situation. From his monologues to his new show segment featuring things that weren’t that funny, but were crazy expensive to produce. It was amazing to see all of this go on in the Late night segment. Late Night TV, hadn’t been that fun in years. And I must confess that they even got me to watch what was going on too.
Typically, I would be working my way to bed around 11:30 pm, but even I found myself wanting to tune in to the Tonight Show to see what was going to happen next in this whole saga. It was really a great week and Conan finished it off with great style and grace, as on Friday he thanked NBC for the time that he was able to spend at the network and the audience for coming out.
We might still say that Conan was screwed out of his position on the Tonight Show and many may decide not to tune in to see Leno return in March. But what we can all say is, that we all had fun this week watching the Tonight Show. Conan has excepted a tidy sum of money to leave so he’ll be ok and so will his crew. So thank you Conan for a fun week. Best of luck in the future. And, I hope your next show last more than seven months.