January 26th, 2010
06:05 PM ET

NBC exec said keeping Leno from ABC was 'primary focus'

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Maybe NBC Universal Television Entertainment Chairman Jeff Gaspin didn’t get the memo about how NBC was spinning the creation of "The Jay Leno Show."

According to the Los Angeles Times, Gaspin told reporters at the National Association of Television Program Executives conference that the decision to create “The Jay Leno Show” wasn’t wholly financial, as NBC President and CEO Jeff Zucker has previously stated. (By creating a talk show five nights a week, NBC didn’t have to shell out for pricier hour-long dramas.)

“The primary focus,” Gaspin said, was to keep Leno from going to ABC.

The decision has earned NBC historically bad PR, and cost the network Conan O’Brien as the host of “The Tonight Show.” Gaspin admitted he didn’t see O’Brien’s reaction coming and thought O'Brien would go along with the originally proposed schedule, which put “The Jay Leno Show” at 11:35 and “Tonight” at 12:05.

Gaspin said his goal was to keep both Leno and O’Brien, and he “underestimated the emotional impact [the schedule change] would have on Conan.”

The network is now trying to put the mockery they made of their programming behind them, and Gaspin doesn’t think NBC or Leno are permanently damaged. The Winter Olympics, he said, will be a “cleansing moment.”

After the Games conclude, the network can revamp its prime-time strategy with some new programming – including scripted dramas they should have slated for 10 p.m. in the first place.


Filed under: television

soundoff (316 Responses)
  1. حجز دومين

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    July 29, 2012 at 4:42 am | Report abuse |
  2. johne1

    Conan is the luckiest person on earth. This odd looking person was suddenly thrust from comedy writer to host in about one week. Over the years he has not grown out of the unprofessional, immature, uncomfortable and embarrassing stage presence.....I think the network originally gave him the host job as a joke until they could find someone else, but for whatever reason never came through with replacing him. Why feel sorry for him........he's got a multi million dollar bank account, a trophy wife that a person of his genotype could never get otherwise, and now, a new TBS show!

    October 25, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Pipan

    One final note (I promise). This entire fiasco would have been avoided if NBC, in 2004, had said NO to Conan when he demanded they take Tonight from Jay and give it to him. As a result of NBC's stupid executives, Jay reputation has be damaged for no good reason. Ask most people in the entertainment business over the past 17 years and they'll tell you that Jay Leno has been regarded as one of the nicest people in show business.

    January 28, 2010 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Pipan

    For anyone who doesn't understand why Jay is a class act, watch his interview with Oprah today. He's such a nice and honest man. The bashing of him has been so unwarranted. The biggest revelation: The reason NBC decided in 2004 to give Conan the Tonight show in 2009 was because Conan demanded it. He told NBC if they didn't give it to him, he would go to another network. That would have been fine, except for one little thing: the Tonight show host spot was not available!!! Conan didn't give a crap that it was Jay's show, that he had been hosting it (as of 2004) for 12 years, and that it was #1 the entire time. So the fact of the matter is that it was Conan who stole Jay's show, not the other way around! That's amazingly ironic when you now look back to Conan's joke last week about how you can have something unless Jay Leno wants it too. I liked Conan and Conan's Late Night show a lot for all the years he did it. But my respect for him is now out the window. Jay did nothing wrong in this entire situation. Conan screwed Jay starting in 2004 when he demanded Tonight and then he screwed him again in 2010 when he trashed him for no reason. The only reason Jay got Tonight back was because Conan was stupid enough to quit. Welcome back, Jay! You're a good man.

    January 28, 2010 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Pipan

    To Alex who posted Jan 27th at 2:31 PM and said "Nobody kicked up any "Save Leno" campaigns when he was being forced to leave The Tonight Show." Your premise is completely false. Leno wasn't "forced" to leave Tonight. While it is true that he did not want to give up the show, he chose to go along with the plan to be a team player. He was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice and hand his #1 goldmine over to someone else. He did not get whiney and say "I quit" like Conan, and put 200 people out of work. And there would have been absolutely no need for a Save Conan campaign if Conan would have just gone along with starting his show a half hour later. Leno didn't steal Tonight back from Conan. Conan abandoned it. Get your facts straight.

    January 28, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. meatigerman

    Conan is not funny but he does have a funny face. Jay should have never been told to give up the Tonight Show because he lead in the night time ratings for 12 years! NBC is run by idiots and its no wonder they are in last place.

    January 28, 2010 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  7. Will

    After this debacle, I will only continue to watch one show on NBC and it's not the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, or the Jay Leno Show at 11:30, or Happy Chin or whatever they are calling his show. I even made it a point not to watch NBC during the President's Address tonight. Now, I'm just wondering if there is a single NBC/Universal cable network that I need to keep watching...

    January 28, 2010 at 12:19 am | Report abuse |
  8. Cass

    So glad NBC is looking forward to being the only network airing the Olympics, forcing people to watch the station. I'm very excited to see where Conan goes and will follow him anywhere.

    January 27, 2010 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. DMH

    If Conan is so funny, than why were his ratings so low? If Leno is so not funny, why was his tonight show number 1? Conan should never have been promised the tonight show, and Leno should never have been forced out. He only did what he was asked to by his bosses.

    January 27, 2010 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Pipan

    FACTS

    1. NBC told Jay Leno in 2004 that they would take the Tonight show from him and give it to Conan. Jay was opposed, but said ok to be a team player. At that point, the show was #1 and had been for almost his entire 12 years as host.

    2. Conan takes over the Tonight show in 2009, which remained #1 during the entire 5 year period.

    3. NBC then asks Leno to host a 10 PM show Monday through Friday. He says yes.

    4. NBC affiliates around the country complain loudly to NBC that Jay's 10 PM show is a terrible lead-in to their local late news and it's killing their ratings and therefore the advertising rates they can charge. The affiliates threaten to pre-empt the Leno show with their own programming.

    5. NBC executives decide to move Jay's show from 10 PM to 11:35, and cut it to 30 minutes. Conan's show would start at 12:05 and remain an hour. Both shows would keep their names.

    6. Jay says fine. Conan says no way and quits. NBC then tells Jay that he will get Tonight back.

    7. Even though Conan's contract had no mention of a start time (reportedly due to his lawyer's incompetence), NBC offers a severance package for Conan and his staff (nearly 200 people) of $32 million for Conan and $12 million for his staff. Conan throws in another $1 million or so out of his pocket for the staff. $4.5 million of the $12 million goes to Conan's show producer. The deal also also allows Conan to start a show on another network on 9/1/10. And whether Conan gets new work or not, he gets to keep all the money.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Pipan

    C'mon people. If you want to take sides on who's right and who's wrong, fine. But which late night host you think is funnier or funniest is completely irrelevant. I think Kimmel is the funniest, you think Conan is the funniest, some other person thinks Jay is the funniest. Who cares? It has absolutely nothing to do with the controversy. If you think someone is the funniest, then he's the funniest FOR YOU. And stop make false statements. Geez. If you're going to say something as fact, make sure it's truly a fact. Just because you say something passionately or angrily doesn't make it true. Most of the people who read threads like this are very smart and knows what's true and what's just talk.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Anne

    I watched one or two episodes of the Jay Leno show and something was just wrong from day one. Same old material as before, but it didn't work at 10:00. He said he was retiring and he should have just retired. Now he's like a visiting relative that doesn't know when to leave. If he tries playing the sympathy card ("I've been fired twice!" "He got 7 months, I only got 4!") on Oprah tomorrow, my respect for him will go from zero to negative numbers!

    NBC execs must be complete idiots as well. First they got rid of Scrubs, one of the funniest sit-coms on tv. Next they come up with the lamest slogan I've ever heard..."more colorful?" What on earth does that mean? Now this debacle? Conan is witty, funny, self-deprecating and intelligent. He interviews much better than Jay ever did. Losing him will be one of the biggest PR nightmares NBC has ever had to deal with.

    The only thing NBC has going for it now is 30 Rock and Heroes. Maybe I'll get lucky and ABC will snatch both those shows up as they did Scrubs...then I'd never have to change my tv station!

    January 27, 2010 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Lawrence

    NBC's decisions of letting Conan go in favor for Leno will be turning me away from NBC once the Olympics come to an end.

    I say we clean out the entire NBC staff and start fresh new with new younger people who can bring in higher ratings for the network. Once that happens, I might, just might, return to NBC.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  14. O.G.

    Jay was failing at the 9:00 (Central) time slot... so why do they reward him with the Tonight Show again at 10:30?

    I've tried to give Jay a chance over the years, but he simply is not funny. He's a fun host and a decent interviewer, but I don't laugh at any of his jokes. The only funny parts of his show were the "Headlines" which he would read from the newspaper - not his own jokes.

    Conan is immensely hilarious. He's got natural talent and comedic timing that Jay can only dream of. Conan will do well wherever he goes. Jay will sink with the rest of the NBC Titanic.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Nathan

    How is it that they are completely ignoring their Daytime lineup. That fourth hour of the Today Show has GOT TO GO!!! Their ratings for "Days of our Lives" are soaring and haven't been this high in many years. They beat Jay's ratings, which many consider pathetic, but I consider it to be a sign that NBC Daytime isn't dead.

    Yet, Jeff Zucker is dead set on cancelling the beloved show. What a jerk. FIRE JEFF ZUCKER!

    January 27, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  16. CJ

    Anyone looking at the boards and networks on the internet populated mostly by the under 40 crowd can tell that demographic, (the one that matters to the advertisers, keep in mind) is clearly in support of Conan in this whole debacle. However, as James Earl Jones constantly reminds us, "This is CNN." and CNN's audience skews older.

    I'd be willing to bet that if you looked at the comments in this story the majority of comments supporting Leno or calling Conan "not funny" are from the over 40 demographic. (Remember, advertisers don't care about you.) I'd also bet that the majority of comments in support of Conan or calling Leno "Not Funny" are from the below 40 demographic. (The one the advertisers do care about.)

    January 27, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  17. JonC

    It was a business decision. Not all of them are good ones. Not all companies can be Apple!! Everyone is looking at this emotionally. You have to look at it from a business standpoint. Who is more valuable? Conan may be a good guy but his value isn't a tenth of Leno's. Thats just a fact. When all of the dust settles and Conan is on Fox he will still be only #3, and the only way he can move up would be due to lack of options.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  18. jim

    Leno is just plan dumb; and Connan is vulgar. So what's funny about either one of them? Nothing.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Catya

    These people are SLIME. We all understand the profit motive and that is, of course, understandable. This is a business. But to screw with people's lives so callously because they needed to make sure they screwed a competitor is outrageous. They were screwing with the lives of talented people because while they couldn't use all of them, they didn't want anyone else to hire them-I think that is the very defnition of bad faith. These people aren't worth our breath. Done with NBC. Done with Leno.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  20. PaulG

    Jay Leno at one time was edgy and funny (pre-Tonight Show) until Late Night TV blunted his edge and milked his comedy down to nothing. Catering to Middle America does that to a comedian. Conan with his subversive and offbeat humor was by far the more entertaining. Those who are negative about Conan don't get his style of humor and I feel sorry for them.

    And yeah my biggest gripe about the whole affair was how Leno got 18 months to get his audience together and Conan got 7 and then Leno tainted the lead-in waters with his 10pm show on top of that. That must make it an even bitter pill for Mr. O'Brien.

    I suggest everyone watch Late Night With David Letterman when Jay comes back on and help to tank Leno's ratings. That would be wonderful additional comeuppance for the idiots at NBC. And remember NBC was the network that killed off the original STAR TREK in the late 60's. Dumb and clueless decisions seems to be a hallowed network tradition there.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Ross123

    According to some people... Conan is not funny.
    These people are old people who's idea of comic is not funny to younger people.

    Why bet your money on old audience when they'll die in few years. Jeeeez!

    January 27, 2010 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Gibson

    How do NBC Execs keep their jobs?

    January 27, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  23. eman

    I would rather watch re-runs of Classic TV show (and I do), than watch any of the crappy late night talk shows. How do they pick these no-talent hosts anyway? None of them are funny, and I could care less about seeing actors advertising their new show/move under the guise of an interview.

    If they want me to watch their network during that time slot, they should invest in adult themed comedies with scripts and actors.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Pam E

    So very sad that NBC didn't consider all the pitfalls before they did this. In losing Conan O'Brien, they have lost a huge following that are just totally turned off NBC now because of this. We were big Jay Leno fans as well, and watched both shows until the change. We even went to see Jay live three times and always enjoyed him. However, we have lost respect for him in his accepting the Tonight Show back again – Conan had enough class not to take the late show back from Jimmy Fallon. Come on Jay, you should just retire and have let Conan have his moment in the spotlight. Frankly, Conan has been much funnier than Jay. We will no longer watch the Tonight Show when Jay comes back and will wait patiently for September and go wherever Conan is!

    January 27, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  25. smitty

    I have never thought Conan was the least bit funny. What is funny is the people on here that say he is talented. I say 'good ridance'.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Scott

    The Tonite Show should have been retired when the great Johnny Carson retired because it has not nor will it ever be the same since that sad day when Johnny left. Neither Conan, Leno, or Letterman could have ever even come close to filling Carson's shoes.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Jo

    Can't figure for the life of me who watches Leno? I wish Conan the very BEST and hope NBC learns a hard lesson in the cost of stupidity and arrogance.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Tamara

    Conan is the worst comedian ever. It was an excellent choice to pick Leno over Conan. I'll watch Leno at whatever time he is on TV anyway. I'll never watch Conan. The guy is scary to look at.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  29. steve

    Conan's sophmoric "humor" was every bit as boring as Letterman's curmudgeon musings. Kimel? Limited talent. Late night as we knew it is dead – let it rest in peace and watch a rerun of Seinfeld or Raymond.

    January 27, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Life

    NBC didn't handle this properly. It looks like Conan really didn't matter to them once Jay's show wasn't doing well. Integrity is key and NBC should have honored their word to Conan. Hopefully they will learn from this and act in integrity from this point on. I hope Conan finds a really great gig that will honor the commitment they make to him.

    January 27, 2010 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Benn

    Hey – I can mess things up too!! Can I have a job as a NBC program executive??

    How much does Gasoin make?? AND he didnt know that Conan would be upset???

    Sounds like he needs to get off the golf course and actually do his job.

    Wish I could spend millions of dollars, disrupt people's lives and still get a bonus.......

    January 27, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Courtney

    I think Craig Ferguson is funnier than those two. Connan is not that funny and needs to grow up a bit.

    January 27, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Diana

    Johnny cannot be replaced in any century.

    January 27, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  34. JJ

    Why such an uproar? If ratings are bad and you had a guy whose ratings were better than the other networks, wouldn't you want to put Leno back where he was? Wouldn't your first attempt be to try and not have to buy Conan out of his contract? It seems like everyone has made a big deal out of a fairly no-duh business decision.

    Now I have watched Conan periodically through the years and always found his humor very childish, and usually not funny. I realize that is related personally to what I find funny, but it's seem pretty obvious that fewer people find Conan funny then Leno. You have to adapt to the audience you want to attract, and Conan didn't.

    January 27, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Nuryp18

    I like Jay and I like Connan, but the reality is that Jay had much better ratings than Connan on the tonight show....and the Jay Leno show didn't have high ratings but Connan didn't either. So what to do????Bring back what had the good ratings!!!!!

    January 27, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  36. kevin

    Conan is not talented and not funny. Taking the Tonight Show from Johhny to Jay to Conan? How sad a progression that would have been. The only talent Conan has is getting a buyout to leave when he was horrible at what he was doing.

    The best part of all of this, go Dave!

    January 27, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  37. JDizzle

    And Sharon, his childish charm is part of what makes him charismatic. he knows how to throw something in there at just the right time, then follow it up with a goofy face that commands laughter. he knows how its done. he isn't afraid of branching out and trying new stuff. With Jay, he seemed perfectly content hiding behind his one liners and mediocre sketches....headlines for example....he talks about headlines in his monologue, and then thinks of another clever one liner about the same thing when he takes a seat afterward. You can polish a terd (mythbusters proved it), but in the end its still a terd.

    January 27, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  38. chief

    The Conan show was lame, and hard to watch. Jay is still the king

    January 27, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Danny I

    I've never found Leno to be that funny, maybe because I'm 28, I don't know. All of my nephews think Conan is a lot funnier and I agree with them to be quite honest. Leno is what? 60 or so now? He's done. His time is over, and NBC kicking Conan off was just their own loss because 1) They spent 40 million dollars on him and 2) He's off to another network.

    January 27, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Gerry

    I was a loyal fan of both Leno and Conan. After a few episodes of The Jay Leno Show, I just couldn't bear to watch it any longer. After this latest fracas I will never watch Jay Leno ever again.

    January 27, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Babs

    NBC "thought O'Brien would go along with the originally proposed schedule". NOW THAT'S FUNNY!

    That's like saying a lawyer is surprised because a soon-to-be ex-wife won't "go along" with the husband's idea of a settlement. Geniuses!

    Didn't anybody work this out in advance? O'Brien's contract HAD TO HAVE a clause for separation. A pre-nup for LATE-NIGHT.

    January 27, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Ash

    I think everyone is missing the real point here: who cares about ANY of these guys? Leno, Conan, even Letterman (who I totally don't hate)... you want comedy? Turn to cable for the dream team of late night comedy- STEWART & COLBERT!!!

    The only thing more terrifying than Jay Leno is... BEARS!

    January 27, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Drummer

    CNN and NBC think this is news? We all know that's why they didn't dump Jay in the first place.

    January 27, 2010 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Old School

    Put on Carson re-runs...now those are funny. Johnny was a classy person too.

    January 27, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  45. JA in AZ

    I predicted Conan would not make it on the Tonight Show. He is so self-centered and not funny at all. I, like others, started watching Letterman, not my choice but better than Conan. I'm happy Jay is coming back!

    January 27, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  46. EIS

    Conan O'Brien may not have been for everyone but he is truly funny and talented. Jay Leno's "humor" is old and dated. All you have to do is see Jimmy Kimmel's impression of Jay, down to the Headlines. Jay proved himself to be a spoiled brat and NBC showed their true colors, yellow – as in scared. It is a sad state of affairs that we have to wait to see where Conan lands and whether he can take his staff, Andy Richter and The Max Weinberg 7. And, to paraphrase Triumph, "Zucker is a good leader... for me to poop on!"

    January 27, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  47. George

    Remember, I say again, Conan has been writing professionally for over 20 years. Conan was working on SNL and The Simpsons when Jay Leno was a has been comedian that was an occasional Tonight Show backup. Look at Kyle McLaughlin's website to see clips of Conan as Andy the deputy in a Twin Peaks skit on SNL. This was two years before the Too Bad Show with Jay Leno. Branford left for good reasons.........

    January 27, 2010 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Linda

    NBC, blah, blah, blah. Long live CoCo. I can't wait for his "re-surface"..........NBC you have lost my viewership!!

    January 27, 2010 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  49. bill

    And how about some comedies? What happened to shows like Friends and Frasier?

    January 27, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Dave

    A Leno/O'Brien Haiku:

    Conan O'Brien!!
    The forty million buck man!
    Say BUH BYE, Leno!

    January 27, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Ashley

    I don't understand the emotional reactions this switch has had among the young people! NBC is operating a business whose ultimate goal is making money. The execs make decisions some of which are not the smartest as we can evidently see with the late night scheduling fiasco. What this all boils down to here is that Conan was not getting the ratings needed to be #1 as Jay Leno had been for 12 consecutive years. If he is that good as all the Coco lovers indicate, why didn't he have the anticipated audience? It is reckless to blame Jay Leno for Conan's failed ratings and NBC’s decisions. If people wanted to watch Conan, they would /should have as oppose to tuning in Letterman at 11:35 PM. Conan was smart by spinning matters to make himself look like the victim. People get fired all the time and 99.9% do not get the public sympathy or $45 million. Not everybody gets what he/she wants all the time.
    By the way where was the outcry when NBC made Jay Leno quit his show while being ranked #1 for many years? hmmmm!

    January 27, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Jaxielin

    Leno is like an aging athlete who can't see that his time has come and gone. Hanging around just a bit too long so that his legacy will be the joke that he likes to make about others. Its time for Jay to hang em up and move on in his career.

    January 27, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Mark C

    Dumb executives, dumb show (with Jay Leno at 10 or 11:30), dumb network. I missed so much of Law and Order that I don't care to watch that anymore. I've found much more interesting programming. Now I only watch Saturday Night Live on NBC. Hope Jay doesn't want that show next.

    January 27, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  54. John

    I prefer Conan, I think he and Jay have two very different and distinct type of routine. Regardless, I can't believe how Gaspin admitted that he didn't think it would bother Conan to just shunt him back to a later time slot. Is he for real? Plus I think Conan moved his whole family out to the west coast, and he used to film in NYC for his later show. NBC is grasping at straws to try and get any of their ratings up at this point.

    January 27, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Liz in Seattle

    Two words: Craig Ferguson. He is 100 times smarter and funnier than any of the other late night hosts.

    All you people frustrated with the shenanigans at NBC should watch one of Ferguson's shows and you won't miss Leno, Conan or Letterman again.

    January 27, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Sharon

    Thank you for putting Jay Leno back on the Tonight Show. Conan was a terrible choice. We started to watch Letterman instead of the Tonight Show. He's not very funny and he repeats the same joke for 2 or 3 nights in a row. The only reason people are upset because of Conan being fired is they jumped on the bandwagon of the few people who watched the show.......Where were they when he needed the ratings? They were probably watching Letterman. Glad that Jay is back where he belongs. He's a very classy man, unlike Letterman (affairs), and Conan's childishness.

    Thanks from our family

    January 27, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  57. TeamCoco

    Baby boomers like my husband and I love Conan. Don't assume only younger people love Conan.

    January 27, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Deb

    Since NBC is owned by GE, I can't help believing that this fiasco was someone's Black Belt Project. Anybody who has worked for GE can tell you how well these work.

    January 27, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  59. Sebastian

    How could you lose a talent like Leno? It takes a certain kind of talent for a comedian to spend years doing a show without ever being funny. You'd think he'd be funny just once by accident or something, but Leno is the Michael Jordan of never being funny. The dead comedian Bill Hicks has a great routine on Leno and what a phony loser he is. By the way, can NBC execs have their heads inserted any further up their own rear ends?

    January 27, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Karl

    The problem with this whole miss is the loss of honor, dignity and integrity. The NBC execs need to learn that trust is lost when you do not keep a promise just because things didn't go exactly according to plan. They should have had a plan B in place and understood by all parties before experimenting. Otherwise they should have just worked with what they had and kept their honor. Now they look like untrustworthy, dishonorable and incompetent people.

    January 27, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  61. Brett

    Jay's funny. Conan's stupid.
    Conan's hilarious. Jay's an idiot.

    Okay, so different people have different opinions about what is funny. I like Charlie's comment (01/26) about Zucker still having a job, though. It reminds me of Matt Millen who used to helped carry the Detroit Lions to a 31-84 record during his tenure. "Let's just keep him around a little longer...just a little longer...okay, a little longer still..."

    January 27, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Neale Newton

    I think Triumph "The Insult Comic Dog" should host a late night show. He's much funnier than Leno, Letterman or O'Brien.

    January 27, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Coco Future Fanclub Guest Host

    I hate reality TV. BUT I will follow Conan once settled as I diasgree with others

    January 27, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  64. emyk

    Is NBC on crack? Why would ABC pick up Leno? Put down the pipe, NBC, and face reality.

    January 27, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Jem

    I don't care for either Conan or Jay.-their comedy seems stiff and forced. I'll stick with Dave.

    January 27, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  66. I'm with Coco...Forever

    Conan will forever be the best of late night, even though he's gone for now. NBC should have helped Leno gently out the door and allowed Conan to take his rightful throne as the late night comedian for this generation...not my parents and grandparents' generation.

    January 27, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Jay

    Well, NBC's first mistake was not handing the Tonight Show over to David Letterman when Johnny Carson retired in 1992. That being said, I was never a fan of Conan, and only moderately interested in Leno. I will say, however, that of all the players in this mess I have to admire Conan for sticking to his principles. If I were to meet him in person, I'd do one of his signature bows. If he lands a new show in September, and reworks things to appeal to a wider audience, I think he'll be hugely successful. As for Leno, I've lost all respect for him.

    January 27, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  68. cocorico

    NBC has prgogressively slipped in the ratings over the last few years. Before Zucker they were sitting pretty and on top of the world with exceptional programming. The Conan/Leno debacle has more to do with failed accountability on the part of the NBC execs as it has to do with Leno's tremendous and insecure ego....Pooh, pooh on you Jay! I really respected you prior to all this, but you've now shown your true colors. I will miss Conan, but he is such a great talent that it won't be long before he has his own gig again...Hoefully, not on NBC!

    January 27, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  69. d1120

    Comcast needs to hurry up and buy NBC, and oust top management.

    January 27, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  70. Ryan

    Jay was always terrible for me and the rest of the under 40 crowd. Conan was awesome with late night and suffered on the tonight show because of Jay's crappy lead in to the news. Conan's numbers were a result of Jay not being funny.
    I cant wait til Conan has a show again. For now, I will only watch NBC for The Office and football on Sunday nights.

    January 27, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Kim

    Jay Leno is great. I loved that he was on every night at 9:00 cst. Conan O'Brien was stupid....and Jay is not stupid....it's not hard to figure out why they would want to keep Jay!!! I am not happy that Jay is leaving 9:00cst. I watched him every night...better than that reality crap! I guess I will start staying up later to watch him at 10:30cst. I certainly would never watch Conan ...and Jay kicks Letterman's butt!

    January 27, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  72. Karol

    Conan should not get 11:35 spot from the beginning. I was trying to watch him. HE IS NoT FUNNY. It does not matter were he going to work, because he never get good rating. I am glad Leno is back at 11:35

    January 27, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  73. Jacob

    Leno stinks, Conan's great....wah, wah, wah. If the members of "team Coco" had watched the show this wouldn't be an issue. No one watched Conan at 11:30 and no one will watch him at 11:00 – especially on Fox.

    January 27, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Jay

    They need to re-evaluate talent. Leno just isn't funny anymore. He doesn't relate to normal people and his bit is tired. With the exception of his "headlines" he has become a cartoon of himself. Conan will always be funny because his brand of humor is witty and base at the same time. I will never watch Leno but I will follow Conan. And from what I have seen on message boards everywhere NBC made a serious mistake. Conan to ABC!! (don't go to Fox please Conan, they don't need anymore help raising $$ for their nefarious plans)

    January 27, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  75. ladymary

    There hasn't been a really funny person in late night since Carson left.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  76. jaylee

    Both Conan and Leno are serious losers!!!

    If you really want to laugh, TURN ON YOUR RADIO and listen to the NPR show 'Wait wait, don't tell me' with Peter Sagal and Carl Kasell.
    They are hysterical.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  77. ladymary

    While I am no great Leno lover, I find Conan's humor infantile, Anyone finding humor in a trash talking dog puppet and a masturbating bear is missing something very important to human beings.........a BRAIN!

    January 27, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  78. Slim Whittle

    Too bad NBC's primary focus was not on its viewing public.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  79. NYCAJ

    Conan doesn't have too much to worry about. $32 mil is a nice gift to walk away with, he's going to have great ratings wherever he goes after all the attention NBC's debacle gave him, and the segment of the population that "doesn't get him" will not be with us for that much longer anyway.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  80. Gnosism

    Don't hate on Jay. It's not his fault NBC execs are idiots. Conan will find something better anyways.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  81. Kim

    Jay is a class act!!! Conan's humor appeals to 12 yr old little boys OR grown men with 12 yr old minds.

    GO JAY!!!

    January 27, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  82. RealHumor

    Jay Leno is funny, classy, and a great host. Conan was good for the 12:35am audience, to sum it up, Conan's humor is mostly slapstick whereas Jay's is more intellectual. Conan did have some funny bits and moments but overall, Jay Leno has better humor for adults. So if you are a teen who has no clue what's going on in the world, you like Conan, slapstick humor with stupid physical jokes. If you are aware of your surroundings, read the news, and have a good sense of humor, you like Jay. Jay has a more mature humor than Conan. Bottom line is, the dumber public who only get stupid slapstick jokes are Conan fans, no offense to Conan, but he set himself up for such fans with stupid jokes(masturbating bear.....come on, that is ridiculous, I see the humor in it but it is not the sort of humor adults look for, look at comedy clubs, Conan would not have made a good stand up comedian). Should of tried wittier humor like Craig Ferguson on CBS, learn from him....Craig is humor

    January 27, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  83. Eric DeWitt

    Conan to ABC? I like it!

    January 27, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  84. emme

    Clearly, all the execs at NBC are completely clueless.

    They didn't want Leno to go to a competing network, they didn't want to pay for 10pm programs, they didn't foresee that Conan would be irritated. Doofuses.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  85. balddude

    So, NBC was nervous about Leno going to ABC! You see? It was never about Conan. It was about throwing the bait out to Jay...and he caught it. Conan has my respect since this whole debacle went down. NBC should change their name to MUDD.NBC lost my respect when they cancelled the outstanding drama, SOUTHLAND which is fortunately on cable now. Zucker should get fired or resign. Conan will do well whereever he ends up. Leno will age along with his audience.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  86. TINA

    NBC undermined O'Brien by putting Leno on at 10. This gave the regular Leno viewers the option to NOT watch the Tonight Show at 11:35. O'Brien got screwed from the get go with this line up. He showed tremendous class & restraint. Good luck to him on FOX ( I hope)

    Anyway, cannot stand Leno... never could. He's a total suck up to his guests & his delivery is lame.

    I prefer Letterman anyway. GO DAVE!

    January 27, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  87. Neale Newton

    Tobycat...I think your right. Excellent comment. Fallon is very talented, likeable, engaging, and a smart young guy. More importantly he's 35, Conan's 47. Fallon's only been on the job for 6 months, and he's doin fine. He'll only get better and better. I see some of Carson in Fallon, and that can only be a recipe for success. Eventually Fallon could go head to head with Conan and Kimmel. So there's hope for late night. And I'm not Fallon's sister either. I'm in my 60's.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  88. HD

    Jay Leno=not funny. Let him go, NBC.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  89. Ken

    When The O'Reilly Factor consistantly beats NBC's prime time ratings, heads should roll.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  90. Alex

    To the people wondering where Conan's supporters were when his ratings were bad: This swell of support and the numerous "CoCo" campaigns? All started online, by people under 40. The vast majority of Conan's viewers? People under 40.

    If Conan averages 3 million viewers, and 2 million of them care enough to go the blogs, social media, etc. to show their support, then it will become news. The people making a fuss WERE watching him.

    Nobody kicked up any "Save Leno" campaigns when he was being forced to leave The Tonight Show. His viewers are older and don't participate in the emerging media technologies.

    Additionally, a large portion of Conan's fans watch his shows and clips online. The fact that this entire debacle was caused by poor ratings (and subsequent lost ad revenue) continues to show that NBC (and other networks) are not prepared to fully move forward and embrace the "convergent media" world we now live in.

    Hopefully, come September, Conan will join Fox or Comedy Central and they will actually use some foresight when preparing their expectations.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  91. Bob

    As a GE shareholder I am tired of NBC's poor judgment about kicking Leno out of the Tonight Show in the first place. Jay Leno had the ratings and Conan didn't. in absolute numbers. Didn't they realize that Conan would get the same ratings as before (lower than Jay's ratings) for most of a year?

    Now it looks like when Conan starts up his new show late this year or in 2011 Conan might hurt Jay's ratings. It will likely be Jay that gets the shaft in the long run.

    Conan is right that if you are kind and work hard great things will happen. I will certainly watch his show at 11:30 WHEN it gets aired on FOX or ABC.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  92. AAG

    Leno would've fit right in on ABC, nobody watches that network either! Who cares about Leno. NBC will see it just screwed itself royally when they put Leno back. Can you see that first episode of the Tonight Show when Jay comes out for the monologue? They're going to have to pay the audience not to boo him!

    January 27, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  93. SherBear

    I stopped watching Leno a long time ago. Some funny stuff, but more mean and bitter stuff, and such a TERRIBLE interviewer.
    If I'm up that late, I'm watching Jimmy Kimmel.
    I'm so surprised NBC execs are keeping their jobs. It just proves a lot of work is going into keeping the wrong people, on and off the air.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  94. Beth

    Anyway, I'll watch Conan wherever he goes, because I don't just find him funny... I found out I actually respect the guy. (Russ)

    I couldn't agree more. I've watched and enjoyed both Conan and Jay, but through this whole debacle, I admired how Conan handled everything, and that he stood up for how he felt.

    If Conan goes to another network, I'll follow. But, I don't plan to watch NBC after the news either way. I'm not a fan of Letterman, but I'll just wait for Fergusen later on CBS.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  95. Mike In Lex

    All this talk about what a class A person Leno and who should be where. My issue w/ this whole thing is this ... Leno left the Tonight Show. It took him 5 years, but he left it, retired, and turned it over to someone else. All planned and thought out and executed. Then, he just decides he wants it all back. I sawy "no way", show some real class and ride off into the sunset. He shouldn't be allowed to take back his old show.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  96. Pipan

    For those who don't know, Conan and Zucker were huge rivals when they were students at Harvard. Conan was head of the Harvard Lampoon (humor magazine) and Zucker was head of the Harvard Crimson (newspaper). Like today, Conan was the funny, witty, edgy guy and Zucker was the stuffy, serious, straight-laced one. Zucker even called the police and had Conan arrested once when Conan pranked Crimson by stealing all their copies of the newspaper from their offices. Google it.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  97. Stuart

    It's amazing reading these posts. It's like Democrats vs Republicans on how divided the Leno vs O'Brien thing is. Sure NBC screwed up in how they handled this whole situation from the day they were going to "retire" Jay Leno in 5 years but you have to realize that it's all about Dollars and Sense. Jay kept the Tonight Show #1 on a continual basis after Johnny Carson left. Conan took the Tonight Show from Jay but failed to keep it #1 and passed that to David Letterman. NBC loses advertising dollars not being #1 so it made sense to bring Jay back to 11:35 PM.

    In reading message boards & posts, I honestly think there isn't a person who likes both Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien as commedians. They either like Jay or they like Conan. It's a matter of appeal. It may even be a age thing. Who knows. But one thing for sure, the one's who say they'll never watch one or the other or both due to what happend are full of it. They can't stay away and they won't go to David Letterman. If they didn't care for him (Letterman) before this mess, why on earth would that be the deciding factor to watch him now? Too funny.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  98. Webster

    Bottom line, this was about a bad business decision. It's not Leno or Conan's fault that the plan didn't work. I think the network was trying to fix their mistake in the cheapest way possible, i.e. buying out Conan rather than Jay.

    I know someone who worked at NBC and he told me that Jay was a super nice guy, very friendly and easy-going. I don't think the Jay bashers on here care, they just want to vent on someone. It's so typical of Americans to bad-mouth someone else just have a person to blame.

    I'm sure Jay and the Tonight Show will be #1 again even without the Team CoCo fans, they never made up that large of an audience for network TV anyway. If they did then Conan would have been #1.

    It doesn't really matter to me, I watch Craig! Now he's funny...

    January 27, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  99. Crhis

    Everyone is blaming Leno for forcing Conan out. LENO DOES NOT MAKE THE DECISIONS! If anyone is to blame, blame the execs in charge...they are the ones making the decisions. Obviously, whether anyone thinks they are right or not, those execs feel that Leno is the more valuable of the two. The people that are blaming Leno need to really step back and take a good, long look at the situation.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  100. zaddell

    CRAIG FERGUSON, CRAIG FERGUSON, CRAIG FERGUSON of The Late, Late Show - the rest of them are deadbeats.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  101. tom

    ACTUALLY, JIMMY FALLON IS BETTER, MORE LIKE CARSON IN A NEW WAY ... AND OF COURSE, CRAIG FERGUSON IS A RIOT, BUT ITS HARD TO SLEEP AFTER HIS SHOW. NBC WILL LIKELY KISS THE TONIGHT SHOW GOODBYE, ANOTHER GOOD TIME TO GET LAID.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  102. Sandra

    Who care? The ONLY late night show worth staying up for is The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson. The rest of them are run of the mill. Ferguson is actually multitalented and he has all of them beat. He's the one the networks should be scrambling to get. If you can't stay up that late and you can tape the show, do yourself a favor, you won't regret it.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  103. Pipan

    To Trish who posted at January 27th, 2010 1:58 pm ET and said NBC treated Conan "disrespectfully." Lmao. All they wanted to do was have his show start a half hour later. Period. It was Conan's choice to cry and say no, and put 200 people out of work. And then NBC "disrespectfully" paid Conan $32 million ($12 million for his staff) for breaking his contract. (The contract never said the show had to start at 11:35, thanks to Conan's incompetent lawyer.) And if Conan was such a "good guy" (which I thought he was before this whole mess started), why did he act like such a whiny, immature crybaby the entire last week and act like such a jerk by spending (or pretending to spend) lots of NBC's money on those unfunny bits? Is that a good guy? A classy guy?

    January 27, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  104. Mary

    Anyone is better than David Letterman. There is nothing funny about him at all. Lemo will regain the ratings iver him.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  105. Christopher

    NBC has decided that Jay was more valuable to their network than Conan, just as several years earlier they decided he was more valuable than David Letterman. Taste is subjective, ratings and advertising $$ however, are the scoreboard by which the game is measured. Considering how badly NBC has been run into the ground by its current custodians, I feel Conan and his supporters (of whom I am a member) will be vindicated upon his return to the airwaves.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  106. dko

    I do not understand why anyone considers Leno funny? His bits are things you can see on youtube and ebay. He doesn't have any original material. "Man on the street" asking pop questions? That has been done to death. "Headlines"? That has been done on shows for decades. "How long will it take"? Cut out the middle man and watch it on Youtube. "Sold or not sold"? Click on Ebay first. His original idea of "Green car"? What the hell is that garbage? It isn't funny or entertaining. His monologue is ancient, stale, and can be seen coming from miles away. "What does NBC stand for? Never believe your contract." HAH! Nicely crafted. If it is attached to Leno, it means, "Now, boring comedy."

    January 27, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  107. Anthony

    Jay Leno has never been funny...EVER. He might play to middle america but it terms of humor...give me a break.

    This idea that the they had no idea moving the tonight show, which has been an institution for 50+ years to a new time slot wouldn't bother Conan is a joke. NBC needs to get their head out of the sand and come back to reality.

    Conan wasn't the second coming or anything, but he was better than Leno AND only got 7 months to get things going.

    Frankly I agree with some others Craig Ferguson is probably the funniest late night host around. They would have been better off giving him the gig instead of Leno.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  108. John Paul

    It is a shame how NBC treated Conan. I for one, will not tune in to the Jay Leno show. Jay is the past and Conan is the future. I can hardly wait for September.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  109. bentbob

    Wow MSquared...why so hard on curling?

    January 27, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  110. Charlie

    Conan sucked. I thought he was smug and just not funny. Jay, though also fake, was at least more sincere than Conan- and I just thought his humor was more real and more tasteful. Conan was just... weird.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  111. Pipan

    To Matt who posted at January 27th, 2010 1:47 pm ET and said Leno will fail. Let me remind you that he was #1 for 17 years. I'll meet you back here in a few months when he's #1 again. I prefer Kimmel and Letterman, but I'm trying to stay as objective as possible about this.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  112. Lawgoddess

    Funny . . . 5 years ago their primary focus was to make sure Conan did not defect to any other network. That certainly worked out well.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  113. Trish

    I have never really been a fan of Leno or O' Brien. I feel very bad for Conan. NBC treated him very disrespectfully in my opinion. I think Conan is going to Fox when he returns to tv. There is already a website reserved with that idea. I think this is going to come back to bite NBC in the end. They lost a good guy and made a mockery of themselves. I always thought that switch was a bad idea. Now i know it was.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  114. NBC Insider

    What most people do not know is the decision was strictly business. Conan's ratings were poor and Jay had a better following. To buy Leno out of his contract would have cost over $40,000,000. To pay more money to get rid of the guy with a stronger audience does not make sense.
    Jay had offers from FOX and ABC to host shows and Conan has an offer from FOX. NBC banked better money on Leno beating Conan once put against him.
    To all of the Conan fans, do not be upset. He was very well compensated and will be back in September hosting a new late night show on FOX at 11:30pm.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  115. Pipan

    To Bill who posted his comment at January 27th, 2010 1:40 pm ET and said "I believe Jay has gotten tired of working/writing jokes and doesn't try anymore." Are you out of your mind? Everyone knows that Leno is the hardest working comedian in the business. He makes $30 million a year doing his show, but still does the clubs all year. And Bill, you must not be aware that Jay writes all his own monologue jokes with a few of his writers. They sit down at his kitchen table into the wee hours of the morning after most shows and write material. Jay Leno lazy? Lmao.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  116. gapeach

    Who cares!!! Conan has enough money to help him get over it. Conan isn't really that funny anyway, and hello....Jay Leno was number 1 when they made the decision to put Conan on the Tonight Show.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  117. Hyped

    Where were all these Conan supporters when he needed them?
    Only place Conan can go is Fox and is Fox doesn't take him, his career is in gutter...

    All Conan supporters should just shut up and move on with their life as he has...

    January 27, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  118. Jules

    So I don't get bashed for being old. I am only 26! I didn't care for Conan – I don't care for his humor! (I also don't like The Office or Parks and Recreation) all the same type of humor. I like Jay Leno. I want to watch something that makes me go to sleep – not try to figure out what the heck they are talking about. Many of my friends agree at 11:30 at night we want to relax and not think and fall asleep. Jimmy Fallon creates the same type of relaxing humor. Conan was all over the place and didn't even do a good job interviewing.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  119. MSquared

    "The winter Olympics will be a cleansing moment for NBC"...what, the 20 or 30 people who watch the winter games will erase the god-awful mess they created....I don't think so. Okay, so more than 30 people watch some things (like figure skating and maybe ski jumping)...but how many people watch curling? speed skating? and the biathalon? Conan wasn't given a chance...his ratings were fine (and where a hell of a lot better than Jay's this fall). And for those with short memories...Jay was no Carson, either. Conan wasn't Letterman. Jimmy Fallon is no Conan. Stop comparing all these people...each one offers something different. Each one has their own audience. There are people who think Jay Leno is the funniest thing ever...and just as many people find him to be the least funniest host of the Tonight Show ever. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. NBC is the one that should get the blame for this mess (that they created...and which could have been avoided). They're just another selfish, greedy corporation. I loved Ben Stiller's joke on Conan's show about NBC (the self-crowned national watchdog for the Green Movement) spending all that money & all those resources building the studio that's just going to sit empty now. All those materials, and a HUGE carbon footprint. That's why I don't recycle, and why I don't care anything about the environment...what can I do to help the environment, when corporate giants can erase a lifetime of efforts I do with one bonehead move? Screw this planet, and their green movement.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  120. Been Used

    Jeff Gaspin = 40 million lost to Conan = Jeff Gaspin = MORON

    January 27, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  121. cameron

    NBC and Jay Leno deserve each other. If Comcast is smart, they'll fire Zucker, Gaspin and Leno and bring back Conan as host of The Tonight Show.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  122. Pipan

    Regardless of which side you're on in the Conan-Leno controversy, how funny each of them is (or isn't) is completely irrelevant. That's subjective. Obviously, there are mixed opinions about EVERY late night host. I like to focus on the facts. And the fact is that Leno was #1 in late night for almost all of his 17 years hosting Tonight. And the another fact is that he didn't want to give that show up in the first place, but did to be a team player.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  123. MBritt

    This whole, ugy incident could have been avoided if some half-witted executives at NBC hadn't promised Conan O'Brien the Tonight show 5 years before this travasty. What were you thinking? Did you give no thought to the man who already had the Tonight Show and was doing a great job? At that time did you think you were just going to show Jay Leno the door and shove O'Brien in his place? Oh, wait a minute! That's basically what you did, isn't it? I heard from the beginning that Leno didn't want to leave the Tonight Show. He was forced out. So now you have a big mess on your hands and you've lost O'Brien anyway. Apparently the ability for thought processing was left out of your collective makeup. Now you've got a lot of unhappy O'Brien fans and the Leno fans are still burning over the upset you brought about for him. I'm thinking you ought to be replaced......probably any kindergarten class could do a better job.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  124. Meo

    To heck with NBC! I'll go where Conan goes!

    January 27, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  125. Josephine

    Rusty, you realize that a HUGE contributor of Conan's rating being worse than Jay's (Tonight Show) ratings was because Jay had a good lead in. Since Jay's primetime show was doing so poorly, Conan didn't have the same lead in Jay had. Before they gave Jay his show back, they should have put him on hiatus, aired a scripted tv show, and see how Conan fared then. He probably would've done substantially better.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  126. Matt

    Anyone who thinks Jay is "classy" is completely oblivious to the rest of the world. He steals bits, jokes, announcers and anything else he wants and then takes credit for it as though he created it himself. Why couldn't Leno just go out on top, that's what all the great TV personalties or athletes dream of doing. He's 60 years old, Carson retired when he was 63. He knew it was almost time, now Jay has ruined his legacy forever by pulling this crap. I can't wait to see what NBC does when the "new", "old" Tonight Show flops worse than The Jay Leno Show!

    January 27, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  127. Cash

    I'll never watch the Tonight Show again. It died when Conan did his last show.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  128. bentbob

    Just bring back Johnny and end all this crap.

    The tonight show has lost it's roots; comedians, music and sketch comedy. Dumb questions in the street is not sketch comedy. It used to mean somethng to a comedian to get on the show, and even more if Johnny asked you to sit after your set.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  129. Pipan

    By the way, if you haven't already done so I'd strongly recommend watching Kimmel. The guy is very funny, a great interviewer, doesn't have the big ego of all the other guys, and his show doesn't have the same stale format as all the other late nighters. His show is just so enjoyable to watch. Try it, you'll like it! :)

    January 27, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  130. House Puppet

    Who Freakin' Cares? Funny is subjective, so you windbags popping off about either one of these two not being funny aren't quite mentally equipped to make such pronouncements. As far as this situation goes, Conan will either retire with $45 Mil or he will get back into TV, either way, good for him. Leno gets what he wants good for him. The results over the next year are anyone's guess. Leno may flop or become bigger than Johnny, who knows. CBS is the one with the payoff. Letterman and Ferguson are getting second looks from viewers. The twits at NBC are obviously used car salesmen (sorry used car salespeople) and aren't concerned with the brand, as long as someone is paying their salaries. I step back and laugh at all the jokes and thinks its just great that all this is happening in the public eye. Who Cares?

    January 27, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  131. Ron, Des Moines IA

    I never liked Conan, and watched Leno regularly during his stint as the host. I will say though, that I will not watch The Tonight Show ever again. I think the way they handled the situation was horrible for all parties involved and I frankly applaud Conan for walking away.
    I no longer watch the new leading up to TTS or any other program on the air. I watch the Biggest Loser on line now and could just as easily erase that network from my TV and not even think twice about it.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  132. dale

    In my opinion,Dave Letterman will rule as king of late night until he retires, at which time Craig Ferguson (who is entertaining with or without guests) will take over. The other network late night rivals will be Jimmy Fallon on NBC, who shows youthful potential, and Jimmy Kimmel at ABC. Leno is going to bomb.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  133. Robinson

    I'm 30 and I find Jay to be the funniest guy on late night. I like Conan too. The main thing I keep noticing is how snobby Letterman fans are. They keep saying that the millions of fans who like Jay are not intelligent enough to get Letterman's humor. Humor is subjective and the fact it that Jay was getting better ratings because more people like his humor. Letterman fans are as snobby as he is.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  134. Bill

    I went to Jay's show on Thursday and his funniest joke was showing a video that some intern probably found on the internet. I then was lucky enough to have tickets for Conan's show and his jokes were original. I believe Jay has gotten tired of working/writing jokes and doesn't try anymore.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  135. Ann

    Conan was never and is not funny now.

    The whole mess wasn't Conan's fault or Jay's fault; the fault lies with NBC execs. If Conan had left he wouldn't have been able to compete with Jay or David Letterman, a distant #3. When he comes back on a different network his rating will be up for a while just because people will be curious for a few days then they will drop.

    Don't blame Conan for not wanting to move but can't blame Jay for wanting his show back since he didn't want to leave. They are both in a no-win situation.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  136. dak

    When Jay Leno had the Tonight Show, he was #1 – NBC should have left that alone. Why mess around when you are #1?? When Conan came to the Tonight Show, I quit watching it. Conan isn't funny. When he gives his monologue, he reminds me of this spoiled brat talking to his parents. Conan did not have the ratings to stay at the Tonight Show. Leno did not have the ratings to stay at the 10 PM slot, but did have the ratings for the Tonight Show. With that, I am very glad Jay will be back on the Tonight Show – that is the time slot he made NBC a winner. Conan never made any time slot on NBC a winner. He is very lucky to get 40M to leave the show.
    And, then as a spoiled brat would do, Conan wasted money on his last remaining shows by buying stupid stuff that NBC would have to pay for. Most people, especially unemployed people, would not find that funny. In summary, the funniest guy (Leno) is staying. Hooray!!

    January 27, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  137. Josh C

    So they moved Conan to the Tonight Show because they wanted to keep Conan from moving to another network, and they created the Jay Leno Show to keep Leno from moving to another network.

    I really don't know how this strategy could have failed.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  138. Pipan

    For all those trashing Leno and thinking he would have failed at ABC, you must be forgetting the fact that he was #1 in late night for almost all of his 17 years as host of Tonight, including the entire last five years before he was nice enough to hand the show over to Conan. Leno never wanted to leave Tonight in the first place, and he he didn't ask to go back to the 11:35 slot. Those were decisions made by NBC. Conan is responsible for 200 people losing their jobs. All NBC wanted to do was move his show a half hour later, but Conan's bruised ego couldn't handle it. Every comedian's dream is to host Tonight. Conan made the dumbest and most selfish decision of his career.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  139. Mainul

    Yes keeping Leno at NBC is the right decision. I always knew Conan can't be a replacement for Jay. I stopped watching "Tonight Show" when Conan took over it and started watching David Letterman. But now I am excited to see Jay Leno back at the tonight show. It is always about Leno vs Letterman, where you like it or not!!!

    January 27, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  140. Gandalf

    Jay Leno *needs* to stop repeating over and over again that he was fired, twice. It is seriously irritating. Last time I checked, when you're fired, you no longer have a job. He still has a job.

    It's rather pathetic the way he's trying to spin the story for some sympathy. I guess he's an example of someone who can dish it out (every night) but can't take it.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  141. Don

    I quit watching Tonight when Conan took over. Can't stand him. At least one person is glad to see Jay back on the Tonight show, and glad to get Conan off the air for awhile. Maybe he'll go to Fox, which doesn't have anything worth watching anyway.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  142. anonymouse

    The main mistake NBC continues to make is referring to Jay Leno as "talent."

    January 27, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  143. Jacob

    Everyone knows that its the Today shows fault!!!! If they were a strong lead in at 7:00 AM then Conan would of had stonger ratings!!!

    January 27, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  144. keith

    Conan O'Brien is not funny. Stupid things like his "string dance" and dumb characters like the "masturbating bear" may amuse teenagers but that's about it. I kept watching that show hoping it would get better but it just never did. The time wasting banter with Andy was painful to watch.
    He'll be up against Letterman and Leno this fall and we'll see how well he does. He may get better, who knows? He can't get much worse.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  145. Texas guest

    I agree with Darren – Craig Ferguson is the funniest guy on the late show "circus". He is entertaining, has great guests, he never fails to make the audience laugh including me. Only wish his time slot was earlier for us people who have to get up early to to go work. Conan has never been funny, he looked uncomfortable on TV and his sidekick screaming "Conan O'Brian" – come on, how about coming up with something new rather than copying other late shows. Craig Ferguson' s show is refreshing and never boring. I still like Jay Leno and he has the done the best with what he was dealt with. The 9:00 pm/10:00 pm time slot was just a bad choice as there are too many shows on other networks at that time for audiences to watch. Conan received a nice paycheck for a short time he was at NBC – move on.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  146. Chris

    Why is everyone so pissed about Conan being gone from "The Tonight Show"? CONAN IS AN IDIOT. His skits are stupid and so is his humor. Begone with him and bring back Jay. Jay is a respectable host, yes, he does have some stupid stuff sometime too but Conan was continual. I don't see what anyone is seeing in him that is so great. Good bye and I hope not to see him again soon.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  147. dtny

    Conan had bad ratings because he followed LENO! Leno would have had crappy ratings, had he followed Carson on @ 10pm. I will never watch Leno, think what he did was despicable. Retire already, old man. NBC execs should ALL be fired for such mismanagement, especially Zucker. Can't wait for Conan on FOX! I'm setting my DVR!

    January 27, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  148. Ralph

    All you anti-Leno people, get real! Jay is a hundred times funnier than Conan O'Brien. If you ever paid any attention to Jay's in-studio audiences, you would have seen just as many, if not more, younger people than older ones. Conan seems to spend more time laughing at his jokes than his audience does. Also, contrary to what some of you apparently believe, T.V. entertainment hosts and reporters have reported that Jay and Conan did not really have any animosity going on between themselves, mainly because it was NBC who caused the whole controversy. Facts are facts and Jay consistently beat Conan and Letterman in the late night ratings war.....and let's not even mention Jimmy Fallon. He is even less funny than Conan and Jimmy Kimmel.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  149. Wisewoodchuck

    Wow, talk about setting Leno up for an even bigger Swan Dive, what executive brilliance going on at NBC. They should bill Leno's return as a reality show train wreck after they realize how high they have now set the bar.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  150. J.D. Oster

    It was a Brett Favre move...Conan never got a fair shake, too many cooks in his comedy kitchen. He was funny with his own brand and NBC took his NY sensibilities and tried to make it too California. If Leno didn't want to retire – he could've nipped that one in the bud and saved the world from all this hooey back in 04. For track records, NBC almost cancelled Seinfeld in its first year – look what a show it was. The affiliates spoke – the 10 pm Leno show was almost embarrassing to watch and they were going to replace him with Dr. Oz or reruns of something else – even an hour of local news. Fallon is funny and has his groove finally...hoping Conan will find a good home and have control of his show. Letterman has to be considering retiring soon...prob. as soon as he tops Leno one more time. See you soon Conan!

    January 27, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  151. Vic

    Everyone has their opinion on the matter, but the fact remains that the ratings were low for both shows. NBC messed up the transition. The transition should have been based on ratings or Leno retired. The addage, if it ain't broke, don't fix it comes to mind. Regardless of how you feel about Leno at the Tonight Show, he had good ratings. Those ratings aren't necessarily going to return when he returns to his previous show/timeslot.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  152. tim

    When are people going to realize that Leno is just as much to blame for Conan's lack of ratings as Conan is. Haven't you people paid attention. All of NBC's ratings from the start of Jay's show until the end of the late nite lineup dropped significantly, and NBC even admitted to this. Stations were threatening to stop showing Lenos' new show because of what it was doing to the late local news ratings. Bottom line, people changed the channel when Jay came on early and never changed it back to NBC. Jay may not be responsible for all of this but he is a big part of the reason it is going down this way.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  153. interested bystander

    Let's be real here. The NBC suits acting "surprised" by Conan's resistance is ridiculous. There's no way they announced to the world that they were moving his show before they talked to him. It was strong-arm tactics pure and simple. He didn't want to move and they figured they'd go public and embarrass him into moving.

    What surprised them was the enormous and completely one-sided support for Conan and hate for NBC and Leno. Sweet justice.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  154. Sam

    NBC was smart Conan just isnt that funny. Once in awhile he has something decent where Jay seems more consistent as far as comedy goes.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  155. cona nhater

    by the way AC, Conan had a built-in crowd, all he had to do is make them watch TV an hour earlier. Face it, he is NOT that popular

    January 27, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  156. conebone69

    if you youtube 'team conan rap song' you will find a video that sums it all up! Go COCO! We'll see you soon on another network :)

    January 27, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  157. Jeepers

    I think a lot of guys who become CEOs are actually sociopaths and have no capacity for empathy. That's why this guy can't wrap his brain around an emotional reaction. It does not compute for him. And that's my psychoanalyical theory for the day. You're welcome.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  158. cona nhater

    if Conan was any good, he would have beaten Dave just like Leno has done for the past decade. Face it, both Dave and Conan are losers, time will prove me right. Leno will be number 1 and Dave number 2 and Conan, well, who cares!

    January 27, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  159. p

    Didn't NBC used to be a classy network? The new regime doesn't seem to have any sense of its own history.
    IMO.
    Conan is a very funny guy.
    Leno tells jokes.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  160. Paul

    This thread is interesting, in that I found out that someone actually thinks Jimmy Fallon is good as a late-night host. Now that's a tiny demographic!

    I expect that the Tonight show commercials are going to gradually be reduced to Geritol and Depends only. Clearly the remaining demographic will be beyond targeting with Viagra and Levitra ads.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  161. AC

    NBC gave Leno 3 years of pulling in poor ratings before he developed The Tonight Show and started beating Letterman on a regular basis...NBC gave Conan 7 months and then panicked because his ratings were low.
    Complete crap to expect a new host to pull in the same kind of ratings that the previous host (who was the host for almost 20 years) did in only 7 months. Happened with Leno after Johnny, happened with Conan after Leno and it will happen to the next guy that lands the job whenever Leno kicks the bucket i suppose.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  162. Rantamouth

    I like what reflectivelady had to say: BOOKS anyone?!?!

    January 27, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  163. DG

    I'm sorry if I'm just restating information...there's alot of comments to go through.

    I'm sick of hearing the "Conan just didn't have the ratings argument." Remember, Conan debuted on the Tonight Show during the summer. His lead-ins (aside from local news) were reruns and reality TV. When the new season started up, he had Leno as a lead-in. We all know Leno's ratings were terrible, which affected the affiliates ratings, leading to their revolt against NBC.

    Conan never had the luxury of having time to grow while having ratings support as lead-ins. NBC royally screwed this up. How Jeff Zucker still has a job after all these years is beyond me.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  164. John

    Maybe now they can make a sequel to the movie "The Late Shift". Everyone says you are supposed to learn from your mistakes. Guess NBC forgot about that phrase. Didn't learn from Letterman, didn't learn from Conan. My predication, in 2015 NBC will do the same thing with Fallon, maybe Leno will retire but instead of Fallon getting bumped up they'll give the show to Carson Daly instead.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  165. Jacob

    Jay's audience was twice the size of Loco Coco. Young people watch Comedy Central or the internet at 11:30. And as for the cry babies that say they are never watching NBC again, it all comes down to the ratings. If your number 2 after getting a show thats been number 1 for 10+ years, you get flushed.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  166. Sara

    I actually think Jay Leno is the bad guy in all this. I understand that he wanted his spot back, but it's just plain wrong to step on a coworker to do it. I realize that is often the way things are done in this day and age, but it does not make it right.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  167. Mar

    I love Jay and like Conan, but I am glad Jay is back on the Tonight Show! I feel bad for what happened to Conan, but he is the "spoiled brat" in my opinion.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  168. Tamara

    Leno is corny and not at all funny. Getting rid of Conan was a TERRIBLE move. HORRIBLE HORRIBLE business decision at NBC as Leno was clearly the worst choice to keep.

    Hope Conan gets a new show soon... hum... ABC? I would definitely follow him there.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  169. Tex Johnson

    I like Conan, Jay and Letterman. But let’s face it….Conan is not in the same league as the other two.
    You don’t have to take my word for it…just look at the ratings.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  170. Tony

    After watching the shows quite a bit, it appeared at least to me that Jay, like him or not, was able to be consistently funny. That is not to say Conan was not, he seemed to rely more on visual gags or video shorts to keep his show moving when he appeared to run out of momentum. Two different styles, two different results but in the end, Conan did not appeal to the gray haired suits at NBC. As for Jimmy, I am sure there is a future for him, the heir to the Tonight Show, I am not too sure about that....

    January 27, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  171. Isay

    Love Jay Leno. He is classy, kind, nice. He never said anything bad about Conan. Conan is like a grow up kid. NBC raised him, made him rich and famous for 20 years. When he finally 'grew up", then he started to arguing, fighting, bargaining with the parents. So, the best solution for NBC, is to kick him out of the home. Just like most parents do.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  172. Pierre

    I'm surprised someone at NBC hasn't got on the Donald Trump bandwagon by saying "You're fired!"

    January 27, 2010 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  173. Cathy

    Conan is much better than Leno – and much less of an ego. How could you not think Conan would be upset by the move.... I don't get it and so much money spent

    January 27, 2010 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  174. Caroline

    Everyone: This piece of information just came on the AOL news. See below:

    Less than a week after his NBC and 'Tonight Show' finale, Conan O'Brien is back to work on a new show for the Peacock Network - only this time, in a smaller, less-hands-on capacity. The network has picked up the pilot for 'Justice,' a legal show created by Conan's production company, Conaco.

    While not a whole lot is known about 'Justice,' but The Hollywood Reporter claims it was written by John Eisendrath, and is "a new take on a law show with a larger-than-life character at the center." It won't be a comedy by any means, going far away from Conan's comedian roots - but he may get the last laugh if the show's a hit.

    So, everyone, make JUSTICE (Conan O'Brien) show a big Hit when it comes on the air!

    January 27, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  175. Mona19595

    Conan O'brien fan wroteJanuary 27th, 2010 10:36 am ET
    Leno is WORTHLESS.
    Conan will STOMP on anything Leno does starting in September.
    Leno is a spoiled little BABY who really has no business being in television AT ALL.
    LET'S BOYCOTT LENO AND FORCE HIM OFF THE AIR.
    -----------------------------
    If Leno is worthless then why did the Tonight Shows rating's drop in half when O'brien took over? And the spoiled baby in the matter is so one other than the NBC Execs! Leno had nothing to do at all with Conan's decision to keep the Tonight Show at 11:35. What Conan doesn't realize is that Jay would have pulled in his audience and would have made Conan a success as the Tonight Show host. But he balked at the idea like a spoiled brat and decided to put all of his people out of a job by not moving his show. That's what you get when you don't agree with NBC. After all Conan said it best he did it "his way" in other words he didn't take any advice at all from the NBC execs putting him the odd man out and out he went!

    January 27, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  176. KerosanIL

    Really?? this guy is a super idiot....i cannot believe that he would not think that emotions don't play at all in a person's decision.....give me a break. I stopped watching Jay Leno a long time ago, sorry, when they put him on the 9pm CT slot, his jokes were stale. I preferred to watch Conan and will do again if he decides to take his show somewhere else, even Fox.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  177. Matt

    I am sorry but anyone who thinks Leno is classy is a moron. A "classy" person does not break his word, and stab a "friend " in the back. Then act like he did nothing wrong. If you take the time to do the smallest amount of research you will find that when this ordeal started five years ago or so Leno said he would bow out gracefully, he lied.
    If he really was classy he would have retired and give Conan the same chance at success as Carson gave him, he didn't. Then a classy guy would have realized he was beat when his own show was a miserable failure instead of holding his breath and basically demanding his old time back. Leno is a classless hack and I hope when he returns to the tonight show is continues to be a failure because it is what he deserves.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  178. nina

    Facts:
    1. Jay Leno is not funny.
    2. Conan is a true comedian.

    Oh well. Congrats old timers and Middle America.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  179. My O My

    Conan did what he thought was best for the "Tonight" franchise. He knew that people were resistant to change which is why the show's ratings dropped when he took over. He knew that another major change like moving time slots would mean the eventual agonizing death of the show. He chose to let NBC buy out his contract. He did carve out a niche with a particular demographic, but demographics change all the time and eventually he would have developed into a host that could appeal to a broader audience. NBC is to blame, but Jay shares in it regardless of what you might think. Conan had nothing but class throughout this whole fiasco. All of his decisions were ethical and based on the needs of others, despite his "crazy expensive" sketches which actually turned out to be a joke (I still can't believe people honestly thought his budget was that big, that's the joke in itself, if he had that big of a budget his show might have had better ratings). As the previous poster said, he ended the show with class with his speech expressing appreciation to NBC for an enjoyable 20+ year career and his love for his fans. You "Jay-fans" are judging a decent man for circumstances that were beyond his control. I hope your numbers make you feel secure because its not all about the numbers and when Jay returns, he will feel that number crunch too. I guarantee it!

    January 27, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  180. Caroline

    Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien should be on another respective network. Jay, Leave NBC for they will screw you again! Remember that! And, if anyone out there works for NBC or have plans to do so, RUN to another network for they will stick it to you and fire you. The only exception will be that you won't leave with the great package that Conan got. And, by the way, he deserve it! Conan is a Harvard graduate and a classy guy who looked out for his staff. I hope Conan returns to New York with his new show. I also wish that this time Conan gets an IRON-CLAD CONTRACT! PLUS GREAT RATINGS!

    January 27, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  181. Kila

    Old people like Jay Leno- fact. Advertisers want younger viewers so it doesn't matter if more poeple watched Jay. Younger people the advertisers want watch Conan. Jay has also revealed himself to be a jerk and I refuse to watch him anymore. In fact he is banned anywhere I am watching tv. Luckly NBC doesn't have any good shows anyway so I don't have to watch the entire network.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  182. OpenTrackRacer

    Leno didn't go to NBC and ask to switch from 10:00pm back to 11:35pm. NBC canceled his show. They then idiotically tried to keep everyone happy. However, there is no way around the fact that Leno's Tonight Show had much higher viewership and ratings compared to O'Brian's Tonight Show.

    Personally, I've never thought O'Brian was funny. Leno is solid on the Tonight Show and made it the late night talk show to beat. It's what NBC wants and he's done it very well.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  183. MJ

    Didn't like Conan and now don't like Leno either. NBC lost me as a viewer past the 10:00 news.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  184. guest

    What is the big deal? Conan didn't have the ratings that Letterman had. He didn't have the ratings that Leno had on The Tonight Show. Television shows get axed all of the time for not having the ratings. If all the people that complain about it being a raw deal would have watched then maybe it would be a different story.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  185. J.Crobuzon

    Michael, if you thought that was funny, you now should understand why most people don't like Conan. Now brush your teeth and take your vitamins; you've got a big day at school tomorrow!

    January 27, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  186. Chuck

    Maybe people liked Leno at his old time because he helped them get to sleep. Jokes about typos in the newspaper always make me sleepy.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  187. squid

    Ive started a facebook group called, "Ill follow Conan O'Brien to any network!" Id suggest readers out there join and help show NBC that it made abad move.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  188. Vicky

    I have watched Conan for many years. He is intelligent, creative, and original. Jay Leno is so boring; he has never made me laugh. He is unable to interview his guests and becomes uncomfortable when he has a funny guest. I don't think that he can tolerate not being in the limelight. His jokes are stale and his junior high humor is repulsive. If he had not accepted the 10 p.m. slot, Conan would have been wildly successful. I think that people either were lulled to sleep by Jay's boring new show or flipped the channel to avoid him. I certainly did. NBC should consider firing all of their executives. Unless they are only hoping to target the over 70 crowd, they made a heinous mess of their line-up. It is amazing that they would choose Jay over Conan. Alas, pearls before swine.... Conan will move on to bigger and better things. I don't think that NBC will rebound from this fiasco.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  189. Patrick

    I wonder how much of a tantrum big baby fat faced Jay Leno would've pitched if when Johnny Carson handed over the Tonight Show the network told him that Johnny was now going to try doing a new show 1 hour before the Tonight Show, but if it didn't work out, Johnny gets the Tonight Show back? HBO probably could've made a whole other movie about that whole fiasco too. That would've been one serious internal dispute that NBC would have been hard pressed to keep quiet. Team COCO will prevail in the end. Jay's audience is old and powerless in comparison to the young energetic audience Conan draws. Now that they will be on different networks, let the real competition begin. I hope Conan gets a show on another network that runs at the same time as the Tonight Show. Then NBC will really get to see the weight Conan's audience carries. My wife and I are lifelong NBC people, but aside from the Today show, which we watch religiously every morning, and their evening news, they've completely lost my support.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  190. Peg Robson

    I am so glad I have a dish, I would never waste my time with Leno, he really isn't funny and putting him on at 10:00 proved that. People who are awake couldn't be bothered with his stupid show...he needs to be on in the middle of the night. Sleepy people are much easier amuse, they are only paying 1/2 attention. I don't blame Conan for not rolling over and playing dead...if nothing else this makes him a bigger star.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  191. Sian

    Look at the bright side...Jay Leno will soon get his walking papers!

    January 27, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  192. James

    Well, I think it's a shame that NBC gave Conan a whole 7 months to prove himself. What ever happened to development? It takes a bit for someone to fine tune their act, especially at that level. My opinion is Conan has always been cutting edge with comedy and has a brilliant mind. Jay is more slick and show business...more old school. Perhaps that's the problem, that everyone at NBC is old school as well. They hang on to their buddies. I'll tell you this, when Conan left, I left as well. Last Friday is the last time I plan on Watching NBC at all. Perhaps if more people did the same, they would truly realize the error of their ways.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  193. Caroline

    I agree with all the opinions expressed by this audience except for those concerning Jay Leno. Let's not forget that he was given his walking papers 5 years ago by the so-called "BRILLIANT" folks running NBC. What kind of company does that and continues to have the guy on the air? What kind of person continues to perform his job in a timely professional manner never pulling any Sick days or a sudden vacation that was never planned? A true Professional! Conan was funny in his own right. To think that he, too, got the "boot" from NBC. What can anyone expect from such a network? Two fantastic comedians in their own right got canned! NBC shows stink and everyone out there should teach NBC a lesson or two. Don't watch their shows and don't support their sponsors! That's how you teach NBC a lesson or two by both the Older Generation and the Younger Generation! The shmucks running the show should be fired! They've proven to be morons. They cost their parent company millions upon millions of dollars! I hope that Jay Leno succeeds back in his old time spot. And, I wish Conan all the best for he will succeed whether he goes to ABC, FOX or Cable!! Hey, guys, by the way, did you know that Jay Leno took Conan under his wings when Conan first came to Hollywood as he does to all good comedians! Did you know that they are good friends? Did you know how classy Jay Leno acted towards Conan when Conan was his guest on the last Tonight Show? And, did you hear the great opinion that Conan paid his friend, Jay on the last Tonight Show with Jay Leno? So, guys, teach NBC a lesson or two! Write to GE, the parent company and let them know how you feel about the morons running a once fantastic network into the ground then just sit back and watch the morons be fired from their jobs!!!

    January 27, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  194. coco -lover

    conan had bad ratings b/c the his lead in show (the jay leno show) had even worse ratings. people were tuning out earlier in the evening and not switching back. thats like blaming the guy that bats clean up when the first batter strikes out. can't wait for coco to come back and torch jay blando.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  195. Austin

    NBC failed. Period. These morons just made this network look more halfassed and incompetent that any network has ever looked in the history of broadcast. They should obviously be fired, and start new career paths far, far away from entertainment of any sort.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  196. Bill

    I can't help but laugh at all these fans of "CoCo" who obviously don't understand the way network television works. O'Brien had horrible ratings against Letterman, whereas Leno consistently beat Leno when he was at the 11:35 spot. The decision to cut O'Brien in favor of Leno was strictly about ratings, not Jay being some prima donna. Had O'Brien had better ratings than Leno could deliver, Jay would have been the one cut loose, simple as that. Now, your precious "CoCo" gets a nice fat paycheck to take a hike, and in eight months we'll see him stink up third place in the late night ratings on some other network.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  197. Scurlock

    e-bone got it right. Jay couldn't keep the public watching thru his show, thru the news and into Conan. NBC admitted that Jay didn't work as the news lead in. Conan wasn't as great as Carson but I enjoyed that he tried to follow the "Carson show" vs. the "Leno show." Will miss Conan.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  198. Chas from Iowa

    They would have been far ahead to let Jay go,.......
    Guy hasn't had an original laugh for years, kinda tired.

    As far as I'm concerned I believe NBC shot themselves in the foot through the whole phiasco.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  199. Ralph

    Underestimated Conan's response??? is he serious???? That goes to show you to many executive minds are focused on the bottom line and not enough on television history. The Tonight Show is a late night icon! Move the show to a 12:05AM start?? I'm glad Conan had the sense to tell them – relatively politely – to stick it. Those of us who have a passion about television (and its history) appreciate Conan's letter to the people of Earth. Get the bean counters out of television!! Oh, and out with Zucker. I'm tired of getting "zucker-punched"!!

    January 27, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  200. Chris

    Once again NBC has underestimated Conan's audience. They believe that a couple weeks of Olympics will make us all forget how they mangled their prime time and late night line up. The fact is, after the Olympics, they still will not have a prime time line up (actually have not had one for several years) and their late night line up will have taken a turn for the worse.

    The best thing they had going for them in late night will be busy planning his return to television in Sept.

    I don't think Jay appearing back in late night will make me all of a sudden have a memory lapse and start watching Jay.

    As it is, I have stopped watching NBC as my default go to channel at all times.

    I may watch Chuck on Mon and 30 Rock on Thurs. I look forward to NBC screwing Chuck so that his show changes networks like other shows have in the past.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  201. deniz

    hı ım from ıstanbul turkıye .sometımes ı watch jay and conan.conan seems to me ..enthusıastıc.jay seems to me not havıng fun to make thıs show.he s smıle ıs fake.ın fact they have to make somethıng new.because everythıng must be have an end.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  202. Who Cares

    "Back then, network executives were just dopes in suits - not like today." – Grandpa Simpson

    January 27, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  203. Quasit

    Bill Hicks saw this coming twenty years ago.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  204. Lena Oben

    When you're watching The Tonight Show or the The Late Show, for that matter, it's b/c it falls after the news & you're drifting off to sleep. It's light and better than the heavy things said on the news.

    I think the lesson learned was, Jay Leno wasn't the draw after all. The affiliates complained b/c people didn't want to watch Jay Leno, changed the channel and found news elsewhere. How could Conan- or anyone for that matter- get good ratings 90 min. after folks had already changed the channel?

    I wish Conan luck, as I think he has great talent. Jay Leno seemed to lack humility throughout this process. I suppose, with his paycheck, you don't need to be humble. The NBC execs keep going back to ratings- and somehow not mentioning the affiliates complaints about Leno...none of them complained about O'Brien. NBC, you're affiliates are your team- listen. And, the 30+ settlement is a small fraction of what they pay Leno.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  205. Wayne Messer

    All I know is I hope it has a permanent affect on them. It is about what was right and Jay Leno could have manned up and let Conan continue on with the agreement they made five years ago.

    Both need to be taught a lesson that you do not go back on an agreement. You can not judge Conan based on less than a year.

    I doubt his ratings was that bad anyway? It’s different today. I never stayed up to watch Conan. I caught him on Hulu where I could watch them all when I wanted with way less commercials.

    So maybe that didn’t count but, I never watched Jay Leno and I never will.

    I hope the audience teaches NBC and Leno with even lower ratings than he got in prime time.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  206. Tim

    I remember flipping over to Leno a few years back, and he was doing what amounted to be Stupid Pet Tricks. Jay may get a better stream of guests because the show is in L.A., but Letterman is funnier and his show is better.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  207. Dude

    Conan is a brilliant Harvard graduate who is witty and fresh. Jay is unoriginal and boring. Letterman should have gotten the tonight show in the first place. Conan should have it now. Where did Jay comefrom? Anyone who thinks he's funnier than Conan or Letterman is obviously too 'simple' to appreciate intellgient humour.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  208. carolyn

    Ditto..to tobycat...Fallon is the future of late night NBC..he is the heir apparent to Johnny Carson..if anyone questions that check out his show..too bad someone can't let him develop a cool/suitable for prime time Christmas or Holiday show for prime time next year to give him more exposure..he's worth it

    January 27, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  209. fortheloveofgod

    @ Dennis

    What did Leno do? Since when was it a crime in this country to do what your boss asks?

    January 27, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  210. GA_Dawg

    Just bring back the Chevy Chase show and all will be solved...

    January 27, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  211. Tim

    DAVE!

    January 27, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  212. Lisa

    Why aren't the NBC execs getting the ax? They certainly deserve it – driving this network into the ground. 7 versions of Law & Order and bad reality shows.... They gave up their good shows, Medium, Scrubs, Southland to other networks – now Conan will end up at Fox. Yes, ax these idiots.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  213. I'M NOT OLD

    to dman: I agree with Rusty 100 % and I'm 25. Not in my 30's, 40's or 50's. Nowhere close to being a senior citizen. And I despise Conan. I think he is HORRIBLE. In no way funny. I honestly believe Jay will do better than Conan, but that is MY opinion. It has nothing to do with how old a person is. It is a matter of preference. I guess that makes you, what?......12?

    January 27, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  214. dave

    "Gaspin admitted he didn’t see O’Brien’s reaction coming and thought O'Brien would go along with the originally proposed schedule, which put 'The Jay Leno Show' at 11:35 and 'Tonight' at 12:05."

    Wow. That's pretty dumb. It's not up there with "We'll be greeted as liberators", but damn. How do such morons get to be high-ranking executives?

    January 27, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  215. recently paroled

    What shouldn't be overlooked in all this is the importance of Gaspin's comment about being surprised by Conan's reaction. This is a byproduct of a business culture where executives see managing experience as far more important than understanding their product and the culture surrounding it.

    In other words, not understanding how the prestige of the Tonight Show would be irreparably damaged by bumping it to 12:05 was a crucial omission in Gaspin's management experience. He should have appreciated the prestige of the Tonight Show in the eyes of the people who host late-night shows and how moving it after 35 years at 11:35 was a very big issue. Gaspin's almost bemused shrug about not understanding this is an unwitting admission of his incompetence as a television exec.

    IE: What a dumbass.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  216. JP

    I never once heard the idea of keeping Conan at the same time slot and putting Jay in for his half hour afterward. It would have bumped Fallon up by 30 minutes and they would have had two shows competing with Kimmel and Ferguson casuing people to have to make a decision on watching two NBC shows or one CBS or ABC show if they stuck to late night programming.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  217. Jeff

    NBC's first screw-up was not giving The Tonight Show to Letterman! GE has a long history of dumping bad businesses. Let's see how long they hang on to the Peacock!

    January 27, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  218. Dennis

    NBC and Leno have no moral's or ethics. They should all be fired.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  219. Richard

    A few things could have settled this issue long ago.

    If Leno DID NOT want to leave the 'Tonight Show' when NBC first proposed it in 2004, why go along with it? You're JAY LENO! Does anyone really think Leno doesn't have the muscle to make NBC give him what he wanted? If Leno truly wanted to stay on the 'Tonight Show', he could have forced their hand and NBC would have looked like the bad guys for trying to force him out when he was still No.1 in the ratings. Public sympathy would have been squarely on Leno's side.

    Sure, NBC would have likely lost Conan, but as they learned in 1993, sometimes you just can't have your cake and eat it too.

    Leno publicly announced this decision in 2004 and should have stood by it. As he himself waited patiently for Johnny Carson to one day step aside, he (more than anyone) should have understood the situation Conan was in, hoping to eventually take his spot.

    Leno took his act/ego to 10:00 and bombed. For a variety of reasons, but the show ultimately failed. So, NBC (wanting to have cake and still eat it) decides to bump Conan back, giving Leno 1135. Understandably, Conan balks at the idea. Leno is fine with this, never ONCE putting himself in Conan's shoes.

    What if Carson had changed his mind in 1992 and decided he wanted to return to 1135, do a 30 minute show and bump Leno to after midnight? Would Leno simply have allowed that to happen?? A "deal is a deal", right Jay?

    Does Leno really think NBC would have stuck by HIM in such a scenario over Carson? NBC screwed Conan O'Brien and Leno willingly allowed them to do it, giving him what he wanted (1135).

    Leno should have reminded himself of his own situation in 1992, and put himself in Conan's shoes. He should have said "Tonight Show is Conan's now. Leave him where he is. I had my time and I gave him my word. I'll walk away."

    In 1992, Carson likely left before he was fully ready to step down. But he left with class and dignity nevertheless.

    It's unfortunate Leno could not do the same.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  220. blewit

    Leno is about as funny as a piece of cardboard, and from what I've heard, also quite a huge @$$ behind the scenes. Hopefully Conan will find his niche on a network that lets him be himself, and not make him conform to dumb-downed joke telling (i.e. Leno).

    January 27, 2010 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  221. Chris

    Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Very funny, highly entertaining; but educational too, which could be a deterrent to some.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  222. DanOregon

    Let's see:
    Thought Leno's numbers would decline so they signed Conan to take over.
    Worried that Leno would jump to ABC.
    Thought moving Leno to 10 p.m. would be a winner.
    Thought Conan would go along with moving Tonight back to 12:05.

    And now they say with a straight face that they don't think Leno or NBC will have any long term damage. This crew has such a great track record of being wrong...

    January 27, 2010 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  223. Evelyn

    I for one, am tired of reality shows. Tired, that is, at seeing the advertisement of them, because I don't watch any of them.

    I want to see programs, drama, comedy, documentaries, etc., using professional actors.

    I'd like to know why the actors' unions aren't complaining about this.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  224. Jeremy

    What a fiasco. NBC should be thinking long term strategy – and I'm affraid to say – Leno may be running out of gas soon. Younger demographics are important in that biz – but time will tell I guess. I'm amazed no Execs have had to step down over this soap opera – and that seems to speak volumes. No ego's there!!!

    January 27, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  225. rick

    Jay, Conan, Dave, Jimmy, etc all have comedic talent and their appeal varies with each demographic. This tussle has created a momentary buzz, but will prove a downfall for Jay because he is the poster child for "bad" in this situation. What ALL of them are missing is genuine interest in others rather than "being funny" themselves. Johnny was a master interviewer and got "behind the curtain" with people beyond the products they were appearing to sell. He was genuine and inquisative and the "jokes", one-liners, etc. came natural in the flow of conversation. When the guest stonewalled, Johnny could one-line his way through to the next guest. these guys mostly hack their way through unless it is a personal friend of theirs. I still miss Johnny!

    January 27, 2010 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  226. SeattleSaint

    The sad thing is this guy gets paid millions to be this clueless. Should be fired, instead he'll get a nice little bonus.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  227. Keith

    Does Gaspin think this excuse is any better? NBC: Your "primary focus" should NOT be to keep your competetion from getting any assest that might be profitable. Your "primary focus" should be to create quality programming that viewers want to watch and advertisers want to support. If you spend your time keeping the other guy down instead of raising yourself up then you will fail 9 times out of 10.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  228. Sean

    Everyone seems to have a bit of memory loss about how long it took Jay to actually get any real ratings or audience, Remember the Hugh Grant Prostitute Incident, yeah just following that He started to get viewers finally and be able to beat Letterman in ratings. Compared to that 7 months for CoCo to get dropped is rediculous.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  229. Eva

    NBC made a big mistake even keeping Conan- should have left Jay where he was. Conan was a good writer for SNL but was horrible as a talk show host- not funny at all and his interview techniques were awful- he always made it about himself! NBC should never have paid him the big payoff- now we are stuck watching that goof-off till March!

    January 27, 2010 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  230. Sam

    "It was Jay Leno who moved to accomodate him, Jay was leading in ratings and still moved on. In seven months Conan didn't cut it, NBC saw their mistake and tried to fix it for both men to remain. Conan didn't have the grace or class Leno did and he is gone."

    Let's not forget that Jay said in 2004 he was going to retire when Conan took over. Instead, he begged to stay on, and waited (as Dave would say) "in the lobby" for Conan to fail. Had Jay not been stinking up the airwaves at 10pm, Conan's number would've been better.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  231. Jason

    This is just Letterman, part two.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  232. campark

    I just wish during reruns of the Tonight Show prior to Olympics, they would run Tonight Show episode (6± years ago) where Jay Leno announced that he/Leno would be leaving/retiring in 2009, he was naming Conan as his successor and the reason for so doing was so as to NOT create ill-will and angry feelings as was the case between he and Letterman after Carson retired. I remember Jay Leno sitting behind his little Tonight Show desk, with a very sincere and caring expression stating to his viewers that he was making this announcement so early (6 years prior) so as to NOT create controversy and/or animosity as was the case back when Carson retired. That is what is such a JOKE now!

    Doesn't anyone else remember that??? Did I dream it or something???

    Use to like and respect Jay - NO more. I love Conan, have for years...think he is funny, fresh and think he is a good person. I will await his return whenever and where ever.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  233. Sam

    "Jay Leno is the classiest guy on television. Anyone who doesn't think so must be a reality TV watcher."

    Yeah, because stabbing TWO guys in the back is so classy.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  234. Darren

    Conan was never funny. The only funny guy on late night, is Craig Ferguson. Very Very underrated, and the only one that consistently makes me laugh out loud every night.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  235. Tracy Robinette

    Dumb decision NBC, I will NEVER watch LENO again. He was horrible in the first place. And now you want him back?????.....I'm waiting until Conan is back in the FALL on Fox

    January 27, 2010 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  236. Former CBS Exec

    Craig Ferguson is better at the late night game than all of them and nobody knows about him.

    That;s CBS for you. They have some great talent, but they don't want anyone to know about it.

    Stick a fork in Letterman – he's done. Move Ferguson up before ABC or NBC realize they're chasing the wrong rabbit.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  237. Tom

    The odd thing is, the one thing they never talked about or put on the table was the assumption that the News had to stay at 11 pm. Why not move the news to 10:30, Jay to 11:00 and retain the Tonight Show at 11:30? They could have placed something else at 10:00 to retain the hour; whether an hour-long or 30 minute programming allowing for a 10:30 news slot.

    Why did the news have to stay at 11:00 during all this? Seems like a big opportunity missed.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  238. Mike

    I wish someone would give me $45 million to not work

    January 27, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  239. Joe

    Too everyone here claiming the ratings game wasn't going in Conan's favor is right, but at the same time, very, very wrong.

    The simple truth is that Conan didn't have the lead-in that Jay had. Conan never had an ER, Law and Order, or The Apprentice, et al, to bring the viewers into the 11:00 timeslot. Jay's show was so bad that viewers were abandoning NBC for other stations like rats leaving the Titanic.

    This is what began this whole debacle in the first place. The affiliates, or in other words, YOUR local NBC station, had threatened NBC to start showing their own programming in place of the Leno Show. This is how bad things had gotten.

    What it all boils down to is Conan O'Brien just got strongarmed off the network because Jay Leno couldn't keep the viewers eyes on the network. When the truth is that it's all Jay's fault. Every single part of it. He could have just said no at any point. Conan decided to be the better man, and think about the show as an institution rather than a pay check.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  240. Karen McCausland

    NBC can try to convince us all they want that the only reason they put Jay Leno on at 10:00 was to keep him from going to ABC. MONEY pure & simple was the reason. They showed a complete lack of respect for their 10:00 dramas & put some of them on at a time of night that they shouldn't have been on. To be honest I am usually in bed at 11:30 but of all the late night shows on the air the best is by far Craig Ferguson. If I ever wake up when he is on & I can't sleep, I love to watch him. I think Conan was completely screwed by NBC & my sympathies are really with his staff members who sold their homes, took their kids out of school, whose spouses probably gave up well paying jobs, etc. Yes they are being compensated but if the figure of $21 million is correct & his staff numbers about 200 (if correct), each one will receive about $105,000. Yes that will help but I'm sure it will not come close if any of them want to return to NY. Whoever is running NBC & making these decisions needs to be replaced. As the saying goes – the inmates are running the asylum (sp).

    January 27, 2010 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  241. Steven

    What we're forgetting is that when the decision was made to transition "Tonight" to Conan, NBC was owned by GE. Since that time, NBC was bought by Comcast and a new group of brass entered the fray. I'm sure these guys thought it was stupid to get rid of a guy who had been #1 for 16 years, and was still #1. It made no sense so they reversed course.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  242. themoi

    I can hardly wait for the movie that will be made of this snafu. Obviously too much inbreeding in the gene pool of NBC top brass.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  243. Leslie

    Nobody's mentioned Craig Ferguson in this mix. I think he's the best thing on late night in a long time. Funny, original, good interviewer. Really smart. He's been a stand-up comedian, actor, author, director. Love him.

    Never thought Conan was funny, Letterman is a bad interviewer and never seems to let the guests talk (always interrupting) and Jay's stuff seems old.

    Watch Craig – a truly funny and real show.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  244. Eddie

    I'm surprised Leno's fans haven't died off yet. Seriously, Conan is a hit with younger fans and Leno is for the retirement home folks. It's time for Leno to retire. You geezers need to be in bed by 11:35 anyway. I'M WITH COCO.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  245. Carol

    I personally like Conan quite a bit, but my favorite was Jay. It's just too bad that all this had to happen. What they should be doing is replacing the head of NBC. Like Wall Street and the banks, when you screw up just do everyone a favour and leave.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  246. Georgia

    NBC could care less about Conan or Leno. Its all about sponsors – perhaps there's more money in Depends and Geritol than Beer and Cell Phones. CoCo forever!!

    January 27, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  247. guy

    nbc is epci fail. jay leno is stale. i hate law and order. i hate cop shows in general. probably because i don't get off on violent or sexual crimes. probably because cops and lawyers and criminals are the last thing i want to fill my mind with before i go to bed. i think the only reason people watch this garbage is because there's nothing else on. oh, and hey... nbc, get a clue: DAVE CHAPELLE IS STRATOSPHERES ABOVE LENO AND CONAN COMBINED.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  248. Tom G

    Remember, humor is in the eye of the beholder. As for the old vs. young tastes, I'm 64 years old and personally find Conan's humor hilarious. I look forward to seeing him on the air again.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  249. Nickie

    I will not watch NBC late night again. I won't watch my NBC affiliate news, either. I won't watch the Olympics. NBC made a tremendous blunder and tried to do damage control by going back on their word to a funny, honest man who had the integrity to walk away rather than be part of the disaster. They did an injustice to Conan.
    Conan has integrity; Letterman has integrity. NBC and Leno have none, and I won't watch the network or Leno.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  250. Team Give ME a Break

    Seriously.... where were all the Conan supporters when he needed them to actually WATCH his Tonight show? The ratings weren't there. I like Conan, but he wasn't pulling off the time slot. I'll welcome back Jay and catch Conan too wherever he lands. They are both good entertainment when utilized correctly.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  251. guest

    NBC and MSNBC under GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt has tanked further and further in the years that he has been at the top. It's like the guys under him have no idea of how to run the show. Look for them to keep going down, until change comes to these two networks.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  252. Yurling

    And the winner and still champion is Letterman. As it should be.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  253. Nancy

    Jay Leno stinks and you can have him. I wouldn't watch the guy if he was the only person on. Who is he related to at NBC?

    January 27, 2010 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  254. Texan

    The reason makes no sense. ABC already has Jimmy Kimmel. Who cares if ABC wanted to get Leno at 10pm, the 10pm slot clearly didn't work.
    Conan was the future and they blew it. Now they're stuck with two-faced Leno, and hack Jimmy Fallon.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  255. Andrew

    Gaspin, Zucker et all should be handed their walking papers.
    The arrogance and lack of thought ( not to mention due dilligence)
    in planning and executing programming is astounding. They have whole departments that do nothing but maret survey and they managed to screw-up totally.
    Incompetence and stupidity reign supreme @ NBC.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  256. Leeko

    Yeah, I can see how I would be really emotionally impacted by getting 40 million flat out for leaving.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  257. e-bone

    If Jay wasn't so terrible at 10pm then maybe Conan would have had some kind of a Lead In. Since no one was watching Jay people just didn't flip back to NBC. Leno is Garbage.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  258. Fred L. Fraud

    Leno is like vanilla ice cream. Boring!!!

    January 27, 2010 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  259. Danny C

    Anyone who genuinely thinks Jay Leno is funny has absolutely no sense of humor and has to be at least over 60. Team COCO!!!

    January 27, 2010 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  260. Gayle

    Conan a class act come on, It was Jay Leno who moved to accomodate him, Jay was leading in ratings and still moved on. In seven months Conan didn't cut it, NBC saw their mistake and tried to fix it for both men to remain. Conan didn't have the grace or class Leno did and he is gone.
    I will now start watching the Tonight Show again. Big winner was Letterman.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  261. buster m

    The only thing funny about coco is his hair. Thats it.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  262. J.P.

    While everyone has focused on NBC, the Scottsman quietly goes about his business of being the king of late night TV. Puppets and all.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  263. Eva

    Jay should have told the crummy network boss "sorry, I'm walking..."

    Conan just needed more time to get rating up. Also NBC has done many goof-ups for the longest time. Remember their failed internet venture "NBCi" and the merger with the old Xoom.com?

    January 27, 2010 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  264. J-Bone

    TF is right. Jay Leno is the classiest guy on television. When he's not on television, however...

    January 27, 2010 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  265. Bethany

    David Letterman is funnier than the lot of them. NBC is full of morons apparently. It's not 1967, no one wants to watch a variety show every night at 10:00. Jay Leno's show was canceled and instead of trying to find something suitable for him they created a huge mess. Morons!

    January 27, 2010 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  266. Mike

    Jeff Gaspin and Jeff Zucker should be fired. Their display of programming and executive incompetence is both amazing and hilarious. I can't wait for Bill Carter's new book and movie about this subject.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  267. Thos

    @Rusty & TF- if you don't find Conan funny, that's fine, just don't state it as a "fact" because there are a few million people that do find Conan funny (myself included). Insulting people for liking him is really immature as well. Grow up!

    @tobycat – Jimmy Fallon a "a master of impromptu comedy"? Please. He was terrible on SNL, and could never keep a straight face or stay in character. I will admit he has some potential and has a talent for some impressions, but he needs direction.

    January 27, 2010 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  268. Heather

    Conan is for a younger crowd. NBC is going for a older demographic.

    January 27, 2010 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  269. Chris

    I've gotta say, I've never thought Conan was funny. And he was always a little too liberal for my tastes, while Jay at least kept his opinions to himself. Letterman, well he just comes across as a remarkable jerk.

    But I think Conan got a really raw deal here, thirty-some million dollars notwithstanding. Whoever is to blame, I think they have done Conan a big favor. His final week or so was the funniest he's ever been. But more than that, he's the underdog now, and everybody loves an underdog. His final days on the tonight show gave people a chance to connect with him, and find out he's actually a decent guy. Jay on the other hand,, well, who knows.

    I still say the funniest guy on late night is Craig Ferguson. CBS needs to send Letterman to the crabby old jerks home and move Craig up.

    January 27, 2010 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  270. steve

    "a cleansing moment"? lol, who are these people? media execs crack me up.

    January 27, 2010 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  271. BobNYC

    "NBC lost their biggest star " Thats a joke. You pple need to wake up. Its all in the numbers. Leno had the same numbers at 10PM he had at 11:35, admittedly not good enough for that time slot. But far worse was Conan whose numbers were only half what Leno had on the Tonight Show. Instead of NBC making the $25 mil from Leno on Tonight, Conan cost them $5 mil – a loss of $30 million. How does a $30 mil loser equate to NBC's biggest star?

    January 27, 2010 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  272. Ron Rico

    The situation was clearly bungled but the fact remains that Jay Leno is a better host for the broad-based Tonight Show from a demographic and advertising perspective.

    Everybody has an opinion of who's funny and who's not so it's not really worth debating. Yes, NBC will lose some of the edgy, hip, young, and upscale audience that Conan supposedly brought to the network, but dependence on this audience is at the root of NBC's troubles in the first place. NBC embraced the young, hip, upscale viewer and it became their crutch. They had dominated that market segment but then cable stepped up its game and took it away.

    The big three networks should be using their vast resources to go broad, not narrow. Conan is narrow and NBC should have realized it before they promised him the Tonight Show in the first place. It was an understandibly short-sighted decision. A mistake for sure but hind sight is 20-20 and for the media to rake NBC over the coals for a mistake in of judgement years ago - before DVRs, huge cable growth, and internet video is mean-spirited. It's a mistake many businesses made and certainly not the worst one.

    January 27, 2010 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  273. Dennis Hubbs

    The network morons still haven't learned, ever since they dumped Star Trek in the 60's...One programming blunder after another. Do they REALLY know what the public wants? heh..now they'll have 5 hours they can fill with more MINDLESS "reality" drivel! Let's hope they give "Parenthood" a fair shake this March!

    January 27, 2010 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  274. liz

    Though I felt great compassion for Conan, I never thought him funny.
    I tried – but it never worked. I think Letterman is a snob and I have been newsed to death by 11:30. I believe that Leno deserved his job back as he never quit – was of the old school – the company man.
    But NBC lost me between this and Keith Olbermann. There is just too much bad behavior on NBC and I am all for reruns of CSI.

    January 27, 2010 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  275. Kevin

    I wonder how many of these posts are just NBC reps trying to direct public sentiment.

    Its laughable.

    It has always been painful to watch Fallon fidget.. Its really uncomfortable to watch. Leno is a medium personality, will do fine back on the tonight show. O'Brien on the other hand has an intellectual, free-thinking edge to him that keeps the young people on his side.

    Conan has more young followers than his competition combined, and in the dying market that is late-night-TV, (and T.V. in general) its notable to say, "Conan is one of the few reasons I still watch T.V."

    January 27, 2010 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  276. reflectivelady

    I turned 54 on Monday and, even though I liked Leno before, watched the prime time show once and will not tune in to the Tonight Show. I see his move back as classless all the way around and the prime time show was nothing more than the Tonight show, earlier.

    When you think about it, all the Tonight show type of shows are one big commercial....either for the advertisers or for the guests who are all on the show to plug something. All about money. I'm tired of the whole thing.

    I'll read a book that time in the evening or watch something that might be a bit more intellectually challenging.

    January 27, 2010 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  277. Dtrain

    Leno is old news. Conan will go somewhere else, and, especially after these recent events raised his ratings (too little too late) and profile, he will probably have great success. Leno will move his show back an hour and a half and still be old news. NBC made a huge mistake not holding onto Conan in my opinion. And I'm with Russ ^, based on how he handled the situation, and his final speech on the last episode, I respect the man immensely. He was a class act for sure.

    Good luck Conan!

    January 27, 2010 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  278. Yeah

    Conan was not fired for his ratings. He was bought out of his contract because he wouldn't go along with this stupid idea. It's like the person who finally points out that the Emperor has no clothes! He pointed out that their idea was ridiculous.

    I have lost respect for Jay Leno because the whole situation shows that he either has no spine or he wanted to take the spotlight back from Conan. Conan was much closer to the classic days of Carson while Leno was old schtick warmed over. None of Leno's stuff is original. That's why people appreciate Conan – not all of it goes over, but he tries to go new places.

    If Leno had left NBC he knew they would have the "rights" to Jay Walking and the Headlines bits. What would he do without those?

    January 27, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  279. jmccah

    And of course, like all horrible network executives, those involved with this folly at NBC will soon be promoted. Way to go, Brownie!

    January 27, 2010 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  280. TK

    Completely agree with Mike below – Conan is great but come on, he should grow up despite NBC knocking him around. Let's not forget he had an opportunity and although 7 months may seem short, he wasn't succeeding as Mike's said: the demos were and would remain different (otherwise all the Conan fans speaking up now would have been watching). Jay didn't give the show to Conan and now, is taking it back. NBC was short sighted in their thinking. Jay's not to blame. He was on top (with his demo), was flexible to move and gracious and now Conan is emploring people to feel sorry for him (despite his $40 mil and youth in comparison) OR people don't know the background to realize what was really going on to Mike's point. Either way not Jay's fault (although I do like both Conan and Jay).

    January 27, 2010 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  281. Stephan

    NBC can put Jay on at 8am, 3pm, 10pm, 11:35pm or whatever time he wont be able to recover from this fiasco he and NBC have done .... Have fun!! I sure wont be watching his rehashed show

    January 27, 2010 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  282. Ruben

    Jay Leno is not funny. He never was funny as a stand-up comic either. The only time I watched Leno was when I was waiting for Conan to start. No more NBC for me. Too bad, because I do like Community and 30 Rock.

    Conan is crazy funny. Conan, you will be missed but when you're back I will follow you wherever you go.

    January 27, 2010 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  283. Conan O'brien fan

    Leno is WORTHLESS.
    Conan will STOMP on anything Leno does starting in September.
    Leno is a spoiled little BABY who really has no business being in television AT ALL.
    LET'S BOYCOTT LENO AND FORCE HIM OFF THE AIR.

    January 27, 2010 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  284. Keith

    Whatever happened to "Must See TV"? NBC used to be king of the network programs, but they've seriously lost their edge over the last decade. Sure, the rise in cable and satellite programs may have taken a bite out of their lead, but I think the true fault lies with their leadership in Zucker. Jay Leno wasn't funny at 10pm – what makes anyone think he'll be funnier at 11:35? And what's the deal with audience members running up to the stage when he comes out? Please - I think someone's a little full of himself. I miss the old NBC. What they're doing to the network is a disgrace to loyal viewers.

    January 27, 2010 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  285. Lary

    Jay's new show sucked. Not even entertaining. He should have done a variety show once a week. He could have pulled it off. Jay screwed Conan. NBC screwed Conan. Screw NBC.

    January 27, 2010 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  286. oc

    If Leno had gone directly to ABC to compete against O'Brien, he would have shown his true colors & alienated people without NBC screwing up an already bad line up and showing that their execs are as arrogant as Leno.

    January 27, 2010 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  287. Texaslady

    I'm not a fan of O'Brien, but I do feel that he was very shabbily treated by NBC. I don't know that Jay Leno had any part in the melee, but I will welcome him back to the "Tonight" show, where his style of humor is more to my liking than O'Brien's. I only watched Leno's 9PM (CST) show a couple of nights a week, because it conflicted with my favorite dramas the other nights, not because I didn't like his show. Sorry, Jay, but CSI:NY and The Mentalist come first!

    I am very sorry that O'Brien got such short shrift, but I suspect that a $35 million settlement will cushion the blow somewhat, and he will be back somewhere after September. NBC should never have insisted that Leno "retire" from "Tonight" prematurely. He was way ahead of his competition at that time and should have been allowed to decide when he wanted to retire.

    I put the entire blame for this sorry situation squarely on the shoulders of the "suits" who insisted on creating this mess. IMO, both Jay and Conan are blameless. Both got walked on by NBC. Shame on NBC!

    January 27, 2010 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  288. tidho

    Mike said: "NBC screwed up five years ago when not wanting to lose Conan, they "fired" Jay Leno. They promised Conan the Tonight Show thinking Jay couldn't keep up the ratings. Jay never really wanted to leave in he first place. "

    That's not actually true. It is consistent with Leno's revisionist history of the events, but its not true.
    The problem started with Leno talking retirement. Conan's contract was up soon and the presumption was he would be courted by other networks for an 11:30 slot.
    NBC faced the risk of having neither when Leno retired so to keep Conan they promised him the Tonight Show.
    Hugh Grant gets a hooker, Leno becomes succesful, then decides he doesn't want to go.

    Chaos ensues.

    January 27, 2010 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  289. Charles

    One thing I rarely see mentioned: None of this would have happened had Leno allowed guest hosts. Carson had many regular guest hosts. When the time came for him to retire, there were plenty of people to choose from who had been on the air in that time slot on the Tonight show. Leno did away with guest hosts to protect his position. Had Conan guest hosted at some point, they would have realized he was not a fit for that time period and this mess would have been avoided.

    January 27, 2010 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  290. Steeevo

    Lets face it....Jay is old school and now has totally lost my interest....I will wait for Conan to come back on the air to spend my late night with...

    January 27, 2010 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  291. Tim

    Mr. Gaspin should be fired. Actually, all the executives at NBC should be fired. Any of us doing our job as badly as they have would be.

    January 27, 2010 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  292. Virginia

    Conan wasn't funny and Jay is coming back to the Tonight show. Yippee!!!!

    January 27, 2010 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  293. Stella Sharp

    My husband and I, are very happy that Jay is returning to the 11:30
    spot...we watched his 10 show but always felt that he should have
    stayed where he was. Great decision.

    January 27, 2010 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  294. mike

    NOW WE KNOW WHICH PART OF AN NBC EXEC'S ANATOMY RESTS ON THAT BIG CHIN

    January 27, 2010 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
  295. Cassandra

    I have been watching The Tonight show since I was in high school & I graduated in 1973. When Jay Leno was let go of the The Tonight I said that was a bad mistake. Conan is not that funny to me; even though a lot of people think he has talent as a comedy writer. NBC made a huge mistake especially having Conan to take over the timeframe which they should have kept him at his regular time. When people are out of jobs, etc NBC pays off Conan $40 million. What are the head executives being paid for. I could have told NBC what to do and I could have been paid as an consultant which would not have cost NBC $40 million.

    January 27, 2010 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  296. Russ

    I felt bad for Conan when I heard the plan originally, but his response to the whole things – and his speech during his last episode – have made me a committed fan... that is, committed to him, not committed like insane...

    Anyway, I'll watch Conan wherever he goes, because I don't just find him funny... I found out I actually respect the guy.

    January 27, 2010 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
  297. Kary Norman

    I never liked Conan always watched Jay after Johnny now I am stuck watching nothing as I am in South Africa and all the tv shows suck except Oprah, Ellen (which are between 2 and 4 months behind sometime years) there is only skye news &CNN news, that are worth watching at least I can catch up on what is going on in the world, until you lose something you you dont miss it, give me ABC NBC & CBS any day any time even Conan,miss all of them

    January 27, 2010 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
  298. Sandy

    It would be fine with me to never see Leno and Conan again! I never watched Leno and don't plan to nor do I plan to watch Conan. I grew up watching Carson and neither can live up to him. Neither are funny and I would rather watch reruns of Carson any night at any time. It was Leno who failed at the 10pm spot not Conan. Now Leno wants to shove Conan out of the picture only to fail at The Tonight Show. The people who thought that the show would be successful at 10pm need to give it up and find another job. Good thing is that I won $50 on a bet that Leno wouldn't last long!! Now that bet is on The Tonight Show and how much longer it will last.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:55 am | Report abuse |
  299. Debra R

    I get it...the primary focus was regardless of ethics, regardless of contracts, regardless of honor NBC thought to keep Leno was a great compromise from trashing their own reputation....we get it NBC...you obviously don't care how many viewers you lose....

    January 27, 2010 at 6:48 am | Report abuse |
  300. esma

    ı lıke jay leno show. He should stay at nbc!

    January 27, 2010 at 6:30 am | Report abuse |
  301. dman

    Rusty must be 65+

    January 27, 2010 at 6:20 am | Report abuse |
  302. Deborah

    I for one will go back to Letterman, at least until Conan has another show. G'bye NBC!

    January 27, 2010 at 4:41 am | Report abuse |
  303. Nathan

    Both Jeff Zucker and Jeff Gaspin need to be fired!

    January 27, 2010 at 4:36 am | Report abuse |
  304. Mike

    NBC screwed up five years ago when not wanting to lose Conan, they "fired" Jay Leno. They promised Conan the Tonight Show thinking Jay couldn't keep up the ratings. Jay never really wanted to leave in he first place. Five years later, Jay kept the tonight show at number 1. Jay left NBC a couple months early and NBC refused to let him out of his contract. Not wantig to lose Jay, they give him a prime time show. What NBC didn't realize that the audience for the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and the Late Show with Conan O'Brian are different demographics. NBC misjudged the audience and most stopped watching the Tonight Show. NOT Conan's fault; just a different audience. Jay couldn't compete at 10:00. Not Jay's fault – more to watch at 10:00 than 11:35. Now NBC really screwed up by not wanting to lose either Jay and Conan devised a plan where nobody is a winner. Conan's contract didn't say the Tonight Show had to be at 11:35. Jay had a guarantee for two years. Jay was the one who had the Tonight Show at number 1 so NBC went with him. Conan was most likely cheaper to pay out than Jay. Unfortunately Jay has been made to be the bad guy. NBC is the one to blame.

    January 27, 2010 at 4:06 am | Report abuse |
  305. tobycat

    Jimmy Fallon has a better show and is much funnier than Jay and Conan combined – he is talented, witty, and very likeable (not snobby or boring), and with his SNL experience, is a master of impromptu comedy, so his whole show is entertaining and upbeat, not just during the monologue. He has a wide range of comedic abilities, and is best at interacting with his guests by inviting them to participate in the show, so you see a funny, quirky side to their personalities, and not just listen to them promoting a movie. Jay can be funny at times, but his comedy seems stale, and Conan seems better suited for later time slot, with his off-beat comedy sketches – his type of comedy was not well suited to the Tonight Show, but he could be very funny if given the right type of show. Jimmy is the one that will benefit the most from Conan's departure, by getting moved up to take over the The Tonight Show years sooner. He is a true comedian (not just someone that tells jokes) and a gracious host, and is similar to Johnny Carson's style, with his witty comebacks and wide range of comedic sketches. Jimmy is the one that will be best suited as host of "The Tonight Show" in a few years when Jay decides to leave. And no, I am not Jimmy's sister, just a big fan!

    January 27, 2010 at 12:50 am | Report abuse |
  306. Bert

    I completely hate NBC now. I grew up watching Jay and Conan, but I always thought Conan was better. I was very glad when he got Tonight and I stuck with NBC until now. It's now Letterman until Conan goes back on. Screw NBC and their CEO's.

    January 26, 2010 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
  307. Charlie

    How does Jeff Zucker still have a job? Look at the NBC schedule over the last SEVEN YEARS. He's a moron.

    January 26, 2010 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
  308. Gail

    This is about honor and NBC apparently doesn't have it! They made a promise and a commitment to Conan. Plain and simple. To me this isn't about whether Jay or Conan is funnier, it's about a once proud network that has sunk so low that they would let a promising (and yes, I think very funny) man be shoved away to help cover up their incompetence. I for one will never watch NBC after the late local news. Their nighttime programming is dead to me.

    January 26, 2010 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  309. Lori

    I'm sure Conan was the cheaper of the two to pay off , but in the long run they made a stupid mistake.
    Conan is way too talented to have let loose and Jay's audience is getting older.

    January 26, 2010 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  310. TF

    Jay Leno is the classiest guy on television. Anyone who doesn't think so must be a reality TV watcher. Conan was never funny,ever.

    January 26, 2010 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  311. rusty

    Conan is the least funny thing on TV and this has as much to do with him failing on the Tonight Show as Jay failing at 9. Does anyone really think they would have kept Jay if Conan was not getting his butt kicked by everything at that hour. He is NOT FUNNY!! Dateline was funnier then Conan.

    January 26, 2010 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  312. HistoryLover88

    So whose Brother In Law is in charge of NBC??!!

    Who is making all these bumbling and incompetent decisions??!!

    It only cost something like 40M to walk Conan
    right into the arms of NBC's competitors
    +they now have to spend tens of millions
    putting dramas into 10:00PM too!.

    This garbage should have been all settled
    before Conan took over Tonight.

    They are probably paying NBC's Network head
    at least 50M to run NBC
    Off the cliff too,
    Unbelievable!!!

    January 26, 2010 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  313. Donna

    Jay Leno is not that big, if he had gone over to ABC, it would have been ABC's loss. Now we have to wait till the Olympics are over to hum and ha at him replacing Conan. He's nothing more than a spoiled brat, and the older population that still watches him are tired of him, and the younger crowd liked Conan. Good Luck Leno, your gonna need it. Amazing that Letterman can appeal to all ages, Leno, just comes off wrong and spoiled.

    January 26, 2010 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  314. Bec

    Underestimated the emotional impact would have on Conan? These guys are just plain dumb.

    January 26, 2010 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  315. Team Coco

    yep keeping Jay will only make the network better

    NBC lost their biggest star and now NBC will forever get a bad name for screwing potential stars. i cant wait for Conan to go to another network.

    January 26, 2010 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
  316. Sam

    Too bad their "primary focus" is apparently to have a horrible program on at 11:35.

    January 26, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |

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