NBC Likely Giving Conan the Shaft, Leno His Old Time Slot


We don’t usually report a whole hell of a lot on TV programming news here, but big, ridiculous things are happening over at NBC right now.

Conan has been getting crushed by David Letterman ever since he took over The Tonight Show, and Jay Leno’s 10PM adventure has not produced the cost-effectiveness the network thought it would, as it seems audiences aren’t fooled by “Jay Leno Lite” and would rather watch a good scripted drama or a bad reality show in that timeslot on other channels instead.

So NBC is rumored to be kicking Conan off of 11:30, and putting Jay back there instead where they will hope that he can reclaim his “King of Late Night” title. As for Conan? I have no idea. It’s been his dream to host The Tonight Show for decades, and now that he finally gets it after Leno “retires”, NBC is stripping it from him almost immediately and giving it back to Leno. He has to be livid (or as livid as Conan can get) and if I were him I would walk on over to Fox or ABC to see if they’d like a new late night host of their very own.

Personally, I’m not a fan of nearly all of mainstream late night, as most of the time it’s lame jokes, unfunny skits and awkward interviews that appeal to people fifty years older than me. I’m sticking with Stewart/Colbert, meaning I don’t really care how all this breaks down. But I do feel pretty bad for Conan if all this turns out to be true.

  • JapJay

    Leno makes me really want to punch a bald eagle. How is he considered remotely funny? People who like that jackass are the same people who keep Two And A Half Men and According to Jim, not only on the air, but at the top of the ratings. RAAAAAGE!

  • illeaturfamily

    Conan is the only late night host I have any respect for. To me, he’s the only one whose writers aim their material at a younger crowd. Ive seen Jimmy Kimmel be funny once… maybe twice. Jay Leno is just too annoying to stomach even five minutes of his show. Letterman, in my opinion, is bland. Then there’s that Scottish guy… I don’t think I’ve ever even given that show a try and I don’t plan on it, seeing as how it’s the show of choice for every 50-60 year old person I work with. Is Carson Daly still on the air?

    Conan’s gonna get the super-shaft because the old fogies don’t understand his newfangled comedy and off color jokes.

    I like to think that Leno’s only popular in ratings because people like to laugh at his Texas-sized chin and his proportionally inverse high-pitched voice, not because they’re laughing with him or at his jokes.

  • Madison

    Conan is so far ahead of the other guys comedically it’s a joke. It’s a sad state of affairs when people prefer Leno to Conan.

  • illeaturfamily

    hahahahahah “Leno makes me want to punch a bald eagle.”

    well played, sir.

  • Cheryl

    I have a Sugar and Spice (remember that movie? Cheerleader bank robbers) level crush on Conan O’brien so I have been trying my best to keep up with the news on this story.

    I’ll admit I used to watch the beginning of Leno, I liked when he had the 0.99 cent store shopping spree and the funny headlines but that was because Conan was on too late for me. Now that I can watch Conan more then just on holidays and Friday nights I don’t want him moved to a later slot.

    I have read that Conan’s contract with NBC is for mega $$$ so I should hope they’ll want to keep him happy and not just be all about Leno. Another blog I think said it best that Jay should retire and do a show in Vegas. He’d make way more money and his schtick is perfect for that city!

  • Cheryl

    P.S. Conan also had to give up NYC which you can tell really hurt him seeing as he’s from the East coast and with his paleness never fit in out in California anyway…the guy has a wife and kids too who all had to move away from family and friends which is sad if now they’re gonna give him the shaft.

  • Robert

    First, I think Leno is leaps and bounds ahead of all other network TV late night personalities. But that’s my opinion and doesn’t really mean much. The truth is I don’t watch much TV at all and when I do it’s rarely anything but The Office or It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

    Here’s my two cents:
    I feel sorry for Conan because this is something that he has wanted so badly, but he’s just not the same likeable character that Leno and Letterman are. Those two always portray themselves to be intelligent, good-natured, and – for the most part – very well put together gentlemen with a taste for tongue-in-cheek comedy. Conan comes across as a spastic child who’s been given too much responsibility and that just doesn’t appeal to the majority of people who watch these channels.

    I’m not going to say much more because it’s clear I’m in the minority here, but I figured it would be worth it to offer a divergent opinion.

  • JapJay

    @ Cheryl.

    I have Sugar & Spice on DVD and really like that movie. That, and The Sweetest Thing, with Christina Applegate and Cameron Diaz, are faves.

    I really should just go kill myself.

  • chelsea

    Conan O’Brien is hilarious. i dvr his show every night and love them. Jay Leno is not even remotely funny, anyone who thinks so should just go away forever. the news is that Conan has a choice… he can either go back to his 11:30 spot and Jay will be at 11 with a half hour show or Conan can leave the network and Jay can have his hour back. Conan’s under contract, so going to another network would be tough.

    this is the reason why NBC had to sell the network… they dump Southland and now Conan. the network is a joke (minus Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock and SNL).

    even Gary Busey tweeted “Conan may make fun of me, but at least he’s funny. Jay Leno hasn’t told a joke in 15 years.”

    @Cheryl – i’m extremely pale and i moved to southern california 6 1/2 years ago… i’m still pale and you’d be surprised how many of us there are out here.

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  • i agree with you. i don’t really think that any of these late night hosts are funny (i don’t watch Leno or O’Brien) but it’s kind of sad that NBC is doing this to O’Brien. I mean, they pretty much destroyed their network to get Leno the earlier time slot (see what they did to Southland?) and now they’re going to rip their scheduling apart again to put him back and they’re going to screw O’Brien over in the process. he’s stuck with NBC for all these years but i hope that he gets the message. there have been rumors that O’Brien may go to FOX which would make sense, his brand of humor would fit well with their shows.

  • Billy Dee

    Conan was funnier at his 12:30 slot, but he’s still better than Leno at the 11:30 slot. The best late night show host is Craig Ferguson anyway. If anybody wants to see a truly funny late night talk show then record Craig for a week, he’s quick on his feet, doesn’t rely on canned questions for the interviews, and actually gets some interesting guests, not just the newest dull celeb with a bad movie to promote.

  • Bert

    Bring Conan back to the Simpsons! They can’t have too many years left, so why not go out with a bang and have one of their all-star writers finish out the series?

  • Madison

    @ Bert

    Conan wrote one of my favorite Simpsons episodes ever, when Homer goes back to college.

    But I’d rather see him get an obscene deal at FOX as a big F-U to NBC.

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