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[NBC] Goodbye Conan.

Sharp101Sharp101 TorontoRegistered User regular
edited January 2010 in Debate and/or Discourse
It's like NBC is trying as hard as they can to fuck up.

Here's the letter Conan released today:
People of Earth:

In the last few days, I’ve been getting a lot of sympathy calls, and I want to start by making it clear that no one should waste a second feeling sorry for me. For 17 years, I’ve been getting paid to do what I love most and, in a world with real problems, I’ve been absurdly lucky. That said, I’ve been suddenly put in a very public predicament and my bosses are demanding an immediate decision.

Six years ago, I signed a contract with NBC to take over The Tonight Show in June of 2009. Like a lot of us, I grew up watching Johnny Carson every night and the chance to one day sit in that chair has meant everything to me. I worked long and hard to get that opportunity, passed up far more lucrative offers, and since 2004 I have spent literally hundreds of hours thinking of ways to extend the franchise long into the future. It was my mistaken belief that, like my predecessor, I would have the benefit of some time and, just as important, some degree of ratings support from the prime-time schedule. Building a lasting audience at 11:30 is impossible without both.

But sadly, we were never given that chance. After only seven months, with my Tonight Show in its infancy, NBC has decided to react to their terrible difficulties in prime-time by making a change in their long-established late night schedule.

Last Thursday, NBC executives told me they intended to move the Tonight Show to 12:05 to accommodate the Jay Leno Show at 11:35. For 60 years the Tonight Show has aired immediately following the late local news. I sincerely believe that delaying the Tonight Show into the next day to accommodate another comedy program will seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting. The Tonight Show at 12:05 simply isn’t the Tonight Show. Also, if I accept this move I will be knocking the Late Night show, which I inherited from David Letterman and passed on to Jimmy Fallon, out of its long-held time slot. That would hurt the other NBC franchise that I love, and it would be unfair to Jimmy.

So it has come to this: I cannot express in words how much I enjoy hosting this program and what an enormous personal disappointment it is for me to consider losing it. My staff and I have worked unbelievably hard and we are very proud of our contribution to the legacy of The Tonight Show. But I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction. Some people will make the argument that with DVRs and the Internet a time slot doesn’t matter. But with the Tonight Show, I believe nothing could matter more.

There has been speculation about my going to another network but, to set the record straight, I currently have no other offer and honestly have no idea what happens next. My hope is that NBC and I can resolve this quickly so that my staff, crew, and I can do a show we can be proud of, for a company that values our work.

Have a great day and, for the record, I am truly sorry about my hair; it’s always been that way.

Yours,
Conan
Source

What a classy guy. I really love how he explains things and gives a shout-out to Jimmy.


I fully expect him to be off the air for a while. Apparently his contract has no stipulations on what time the Tonight Show will start and has some sort of condition that may keep him from being on another show for a year or more. [source]


All in all, I'm pretty fucking pissed off they are doing this to Conan. There is no reason for Jay to have a show 5 nights a week. He should back off and do a 1 night a week show or some sort of monthy special or something NEW.



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Sharp101 on
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Posts

  • DasUberEdwardDasUberEdward Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Wow that raises my opinion of Conan by a ton.

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  • MuddBuddMuddBudd Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    My question is, why the fuck is Leno not saying anything right now.

    He should be screaming about how wrong this is.

    steam_sig.png
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I like Conan on a personal level. He's a good comedian and always comes off as a down-to-earth guy.

    Still isn't the real issue here that these kinds of shows are dinosaurs that only people who grew up on them watch anymore?

  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    The smart money since the move happened was that NBC was setting itself up to fail, since Leno wouldn't be able to carry a primetime show for an actual hour, and having that show on the air at all would hurt the 11:30 show.

    What NBC ought to do is just cut Leno's useless ass loose and give the Tonight Show to Conan. They're probably under a long contract with Leno or something though, so they probably won't.

    gkcmatch_zps97480250.jpg
    stand up! It was the smallest on the list but
    pluto was a planet and I'll never forget
  • HavelockHavelock Registered User
    edited January 2010
    Saw this in the news.

    NBC in the house, shitting up the program schedule.

    Stay classy NBC.

  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I like Conan on a personal level. He's a good comedian and always comes off as a down-to-earth guy.

    Still isn't the real issue here that these kinds of shows are dinosaurs that only people who grew up on them watch anymore?

    The Daily Show is basically "this kind of a show," just with slightly more intelligence and slightly more of a focus on current events.

    gkcmatch_zps97480250.jpg
    stand up! It was the smallest on the list but
    pluto was a planet and I'll never forget
  • MuddBuddMuddBudd Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Dyscord wrote: »
    The smart money since the move happened was that NBC was setting itself up to fail, since Leno wouldn't be able to carry a primetime show for an actual hour, and having that show on the air at all would hurt the 11:30 show.

    What NBC ought to do is just cut Leno's useless ass loose and give the Tonight Show to Conan. They're probably under a long contract with Leno or something though, so they probably won't.

    Leno should step down himself before any of that happens, if he has any integrity.

    steam_sig.png
  • wobblyheadedbobwobblyheadedbob Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    MuddBudd wrote: »
    My question is, why the fuck is Leno not saying anything right now.

    He should be screaming about how wrong this is.

    Hell I would assume Leno has some weight to throw around. I read on some site (don't remember which) that this might have always been an agreement between Leno and NBC (which Conan knew nothing of) but there's nothing concrete indicating that AFAIK.

  • LanzLanz Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Am I the only one hoping that Comedy Central offers Conan a job?

    SEGATA SANSHIRO! LIVE AGAIN!
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  • THEPAIN73THEPAIN73 Santabreaker PresentslayerRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    MuddBudd wrote: »
    Dyscord wrote: »
    The smart money since the move happened was that NBC was setting itself up to fail, since Leno wouldn't be able to carry a primetime show for an actual hour, and having that show on the air at all would hurt the 11:30 show.

    What NBC ought to do is just cut Leno's useless ass loose and give the Tonight Show to Conan. They're probably under a long contract with Leno or something though, so they probably won't.

    Leno should step down himself before any of that happens, if he has any integrity.

    It's too bad he doesn't have that integrity anymore.

    I knew this was going to happen when they brought the Jay Leno Show to life.

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  • RedTideRedTide Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    MuddBudd wrote: »
    My question is, why the fuck is Leno not saying anything right now.

    He should be screaming about how wrong this is.

    He needs his megachin and tired jokes to be seen five nights a week though!

    Aside from all of NBC's other problems, have they considered that part of the reason why Conan has had trouble establishing a broader audience is that the old guy simply hasn't gone away? Letterman used to drub Leno handily in ratings since he carried over a lot of his Late Nite audience from NBC to CBS, but how much longer would have it taken for Leno to gain ground if Johnny Carson was still essentially putting on the same show five times a week?

    Also apparently a big motivator in kicking Jay from 10pm is that a lot of local news programs had seen their numbers slip since he became their lead-in. How does NBC think this will improve the Tonight Shows ratings when hes leading in at 11:35?

  • MuddBuddMuddBudd Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Lanz wrote: »
    Am I the only one hoping that Comedy Central offers Conan a job?

    No, I think that's a fantastic idea.

    Put it right before, after, or between Daily Show and Colbert.

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  • Sharp101Sharp101 TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I like Conan on a personal level. He's a good comedian and always comes off as a down-to-earth guy.

    Still isn't the real issue here that these kinds of shows are dinosaurs that only people who grew up on them watch anymore?

    No, the real issue is that NBC is bending over backwards to cater to Leno at everyone else's expense.

    These shows are still great, while they evolve. Leno isn't evolving. Conan and Jimmy are one their respective shows to do new things and improve the shows for their new demographics.

    Bringing back Leno is a step backwards.

  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Dyscord wrote: »
    I like Conan on a personal level. He's a good comedian and always comes off as a down-to-earth guy.

    Still isn't the real issue here that these kinds of shows are dinosaurs that only people who grew up on them watch anymore?

    The Daily Show is basically "this kind of a show," just with slightly more intelligence and slightly more of a focus on current events.

    No it isn't

    It's much shorter and focused. The Daily Show stopped being a show for whoring out every celebrity on earth a long time ago. The Tonight Sghow and it's ilk are basically long commercials for movies and writers.

  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Lanz wrote: »
    Am I the only one hoping that Comedy Central offers Conan a job?

    Well, Bill Simmons suggested this the other day, so no. Would be a killer two hours.

    Lose: to suffer defeat, to misplace (Ex: "I hope I don't lose the match." "Did you lose your phone again?")
    Loose: about to slip, to release (Ex: "That knot is loose." "Loose arrows.")
  • DeebaserDeebaser Lead Frog Rammer Fake Board GamerRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Does this mean HBO will make a sequel to "The Late Shift"?

  • AegisAegis Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    If NBC wanted Leno so badly, the hell did they not keep him on The Tonight Show for? Or did he want his own show that NBC just wants to replace TTS with?

  • HavelockHavelock Registered User
    edited January 2010
    THEPAIN73 wrote: »
    MuddBudd wrote: »
    Dyscord wrote: »
    The smart money since the move happened was that NBC was setting itself up to fail, since Leno wouldn't be able to carry a primetime show for an actual hour, and having that show on the air at all would hurt the 11:30 show.

    What NBC ought to do is just cut Leno's useless ass loose and give the Tonight Show to Conan. They're probably under a long contract with Leno or something though, so they probably won't.

    Leno should step down himself before any of that happens, if he has any integrity.

    It's too bad he doesn't have that integrity anymore.

    I knew this was going to happen when they brought the Jay Leno Show to life.

    Some folks just can't retire when they're supposed to. Especially if the money's good.

    What's type of ratings does the Jay Leno Show have? Is a highly watched show?

  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Havelock wrote: »
    THEPAIN73 wrote: »
    MuddBudd wrote: »
    Dyscord wrote: »
    The smart money since the move happened was that NBC was setting itself up to fail, since Leno wouldn't be able to carry a primetime show for an actual hour, and having that show on the air at all would hurt the 11:30 show.

    What NBC ought to do is just cut Leno's useless ass loose and give the Tonight Show to Conan. They're probably under a long contract with Leno or something though, so they probably won't.

    Leno should step down himself before any of that happens, if he has any integrity.

    It's too bad he doesn't have that integrity anymore.

    I knew this was going to happen when they brought the Jay Leno Show to life.

    Some folks just can't retire when they're supposed to. Especially if the money's good.

    What's type of ratings does the Jay Leno Show have? Is a highly watched show?

    Awful, awful ratings. Even by NBC's standards.

    Lose: to suffer defeat, to misplace (Ex: "I hope I don't lose the match." "Did you lose your phone again?")
    Loose: about to slip, to release (Ex: "That knot is loose." "Loose arrows.")
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Dyscord wrote: »
    I like Conan on a personal level. He's a good comedian and always comes off as a down-to-earth guy.

    Still isn't the real issue here that these kinds of shows are dinosaurs that only people who grew up on them watch anymore?

    The Daily Show is basically "this kind of a show," just with slightly more intelligence and slightly more of a focus on current events.

    No it isn't

    It's much shorter and focused. The Daily Show stopped being a show for whoring out every celebrity on earth a long time ago. The Tonight Sghow and it's ilk are basically long commercials for movies and writers.

    It's exactly the same format, the Daily Show just doesn't use a band or a guest comic to string out another couple commercial breaks.

    There's nothing about the format of a show that mixes a little bit of comedy and interviews with interesting people. Just because one show is about politics and one show is about pop culture doesn't make the latter less viable.

    gkcmatch_zps97480250.jpg
    stand up! It was the smallest on the list but
    pluto was a planet and I'll never forget
  • kdrudykdrudy Registered User
    edited January 2010
    Lanz wrote: »
    Am I the only one hoping that Comedy Central offers Conan a job?

    They would need a lot of money and to bump Colbert, because you know he wouldn't go into unless he had that normal time slot.

    tvsfrank.jpg
  • RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I'm not intimately familiar with the scheduling, so correct me if I'm wrong: Jay Leno quits the Tonight Show, and they give him another show in the old place of the Tonight Show? If I have it right, it makes you wonder what the point of him quitting was.

    Props to Mr O'Brien though. Integrity is doubleplus good.

  • Sharp101Sharp101 TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Awful, awful ratings. Even by NBC's standards.

    I have read however that despite the ratings, it's still profitable.

    Mostly because Leno's show costs a lot less to make.

  • HavelockHavelock Registered User
    edited January 2010
    Havelock wrote: »
    THEPAIN73 wrote: »
    MuddBudd wrote: »
    Dyscord wrote: »
    The smart money since the move happened was that NBC was setting itself up to fail, since Leno wouldn't be able to carry a primetime show for an actual hour, and having that show on the air at all would hurt the 11:30 show.

    What NBC ought to do is just cut Leno's useless ass loose and give the Tonight Show to Conan. They're probably under a long contract with Leno or something though, so they probably won't.

    Leno should step down himself before any of that happens, if he has any integrity.

    It's too bad he doesn't have that integrity anymore.

    I knew this was going to happen when they brought the Jay Leno Show to life.

    Some folks just can't retire when they're supposed to. Especially if the money's good.

    What's type of ratings does the Jay Leno Show have? Is a highly watched show?

    Awful, awful ratings. Even by NBC's standards.

    Then I can't even begin to understand their justification for this scheduling. It's like they got greedy and decided to kill the goose to get at the golden eggs or something.

    They'll just wind up looking very foolish with nothing to show but a bunch of feathers and birdshit.

  • LanzLanz Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Dyscord wrote: »
    I like Conan on a personal level. He's a good comedian and always comes off as a down-to-earth guy.

    Still isn't the real issue here that these kinds of shows are dinosaurs that only people who grew up on them watch anymore?

    The Daily Show is basically "this kind of a show," just with slightly more intelligence and slightly more of a focus on current events.

    No it isn't

    It's much shorter and focused. The Daily Show stopped being a show for whoring out every celebrity on earth a long time ago. The Tonight Sghow and it's ilk are basically long commercials for movies and writers.

    You sir, have not watched Craig Ferguson, a.k.a. "Scottish Conan"

    It's about an hour worth of monologue standing up, bits behind the desk, and then a guest, maybe two sometimes.

    Also puppets. And Aquaman.

    SEGATA SANSHIRO! LIVE AGAIN!
    Lanz.gif
  • DalbozDalboz Resident Puppy Eater Right behind you...Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Something like this was going to happen as soon as they announced Leno was getting a primetime show. If was staying on, he had no reason to leave the Tonight Show. Some one fucked up, and because it was the big brass at NBC, those lower on the totem pole are getting the blame.

    They're panicking about the ratings, but not remembering that this was how things went before. When Leno originally took over the Tonight Show, the ratings tanked. It took about a year or two for them to build back up again. It's the way it always goes. But the NBC brass has no memory.

    I heard that the likely network to pick up Conan would be Fox, as they're supposedly looking to start their own late night line-up, and Conan would be a prime candidate if he's free.

  • SyphonBlueSyphonBlue Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Havelock wrote: »
    Then I can't even begin to understand their justification for this scheduling

    Jeff Zucker

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  • LanzLanz Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I'm not intimately familiar with the scheduling, so correct me if I'm wrong: Jay Leno quits the Tonight Show, and they give him another show in the old place of the Tonight Show? If I have it right, it makes you wonder what the point of him quitting was.

    Props to Mr O'Brien though. Integrity is doubleplus good.

    Conan's old contract expired in 2004 and was being approached by competing networks. NBC got him to stay on by stipulating in his contract that he got the Tonight Show in 2008/2009

    SEGATA SANSHIRO! LIVE AGAIN!
    Lanz.gif
  • Sharp101Sharp101 TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Lanz wrote: »
    No it isn't

    It's much shorter and focused. The Daily Show stopped being a show for whoring out every celebrity on earth a long time ago. The Tonight Sghow and it's ilk are basically long commercials for movies and writers.

    You sir, have not watched Craig Ferguson, a.k.a. "Scottish Conan"

    It's about an hour worth of monologue standing up, bits behind the desk, and then a guest, maybe two sometimes.

    Also puppets. And Aquaman.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LTIa1wdnII

  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I'm not intimately familiar with the scheduling, so correct me if I'm wrong: Jay Leno quits the Tonight Show, and they give him another show in the old place of the Tonight Show? If I have it right, it makes you wonder what the point of him quitting was.

    Props to Mr O'Brien though. Integrity is doubleplus good.

    Basically Conan has been the heir apparent for the Tonight Show for several years, only when the (contractual) time came to hand over the reigns, NBC still thought Leno was a marketable face. So they gave Leno his own primetime show that was supposed to follow a similar format with more time for comedy, and gave the Tonight Show to Conan.

    Of course, the primetime show doesn't rate all that well because it's sort of a niche program (especially with the focus on more comedy) and Leno isn't that funny anyway, and siphoned a lot of guests and attention away from the actual Tonight Show, because of course anyone who's promoting anything would prefer to be in prime time.

    Just a completely boneheaded decision by NBC.

    gkcmatch_zps97480250.jpg
    stand up! It was the smallest on the list but
    pluto was a planet and I'll never forget
  • Sharp101Sharp101 TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Dalboz wrote: »
    Something like this was going to happen as soon as they announced Leno was getting a primetime show. If was staying on, he had no reason to leave the Tonight Show. Some one fucked up, and because it was the big brass at NBC, those lower on the totem pole are getting the blame.

    They're panicking about the ratings, but not remembering that this was how things went before. When Leno originally took over the Tonight Show, the ratings tanked. It took about a year or two for them to build back up again. It's the way it always goes. But the NBC brass has no memory.

    I heard that the likely network to pick up Conan would be Fox, as they're supposedly looking to start their own late night line-up, and Conan would be a prime candidate if he's free.

    Conan even touches on this in his letter. He just wasn't given enough time.

  • HavelockHavelock Registered User
    edited January 2010
    SyphonBlue wrote: »
    Havelock wrote: »
    Then I can't even begin to understand their justification for this scheduling

    Jeff Zucker

    Ohhh. That...explains everything.

    It...it's like a diamond bullet right through my forehead.

  • LanzLanz Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
  • CauldCauld Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    They should just put leno on earlier, like mid-day.

  • Sharp101Sharp101 TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Patton Oswalt has a great take on the whole situation.

  • InvisibleInvisible Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I'm glad. Conan deserves much better and NBC is a dying dinosaur just like Leno.
    On another note this makes how many failed shows Andy Richter has been on now?

    steam_sig.png
  • RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Lanz wrote: »

    My introduction to Patton Oswald was Ratatouille.

    I'm imagining a small rat explaining all this to me.

    It's amusing.

  • CadeCade Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Great Article on the situation
    I can report that, after NBC made that decision, the phones at his WME agency rang off the hook with calls from every network, cable, and pay channel looking to hire O'Brien. And there's every reason for him to flee: I've learned that Zucker has been privately blaming Conan for the current debacle, saying "He let me down" because The Tonight Show has been losing out to David Letterman in both eyeballs and advertiser-coveted demographics. (Bullshit, Zucker, you can't keep blaming others for your Zucked-up messes.) Bad enough that NBC made Conan hear about the planned move in the first place from the media.

  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    notice how they won't blame Leno's unfunny show for hurting the Tonight shows ratings

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