Posts Tagged ‘conanobrien’


After watching Jay Leno on Oprah’s show on Thursday I have to say that I really do feel for him a little more now.  Some may label me as being too soft, but I think both Conan and Jay got the shaft in this whole ordeal as NBC tried to take something away from Leno when he was on top, and they gambled with Conan thinking that five years would be enough for Leno to want to leave his show when the time came, which of course, didn’t happen that way.  NBC was trying to predict the future and it inevitably failed for them and it ended up thrusting both of these late night hosts into a bad situation.

The only part of the interview that I absolutely disagreed with was when Leno made the comment that he lives strictly on the money he makes from his stand up comedy bits and not the money NBC paid him to do his shows.  I’m sure he taps into his millions from the Tonight Show from time to time to take care of all his cars.

However, in the interview he mentions that NBC decided that they were going  to pull him away from his Tonight Show back in 2004 in five years time despite the fact that he was number one.  Leno claims it was all being done to keep Conan from switching to another network as his contract was almost up at the time in 2004.  It looks like Leno may have been the one who had the carpet pulled from underneath him first.  He really did not seem like he was ready to go from his show and he couldn’t figure out why NBC wouldn’t let him keep it while he was still number one. Honestly, I have to say I can’t blame him for that.  So to make a rational excuse, Leno announced his “retirement” as the reason he would pass the torch in 2009.   This seeming like a logical explanation, no one thought anymore of it.  The thought didn’t cross anyone’s minds that O’Brien was trying to bump Leno.

So after seeing this interview, perhaps it is just that I am gullible and susceptible to the PR job that Leno is trying to do here so that he can repair his image, I have to say that I do feel for Jay Leno more than I did before he came out and talked about the whole fiasco on Oprah.   People often mention that Leno had this planned from day one, but I really do not think so.  I don’t think he knew anymore than the rest of the world did about what was going to happen in 2010 when this whole mess failed. That is simply just another conspiracy theory like all the naysayers on whether or not we actually went to the moon.  Leno was just going along with what NBC was planning to do.

Like Leno, I believe that all of this comes down to numbers.  That is what television is about, numbers.  Conan for whatever reason could not pull in the numbers that NBC wanted in his time slot so they decided to bump him.  Even though I am a fan of Conan I do understand what NBC was thinking about when they were making their decisions.  Although O’Brien wouldn’t agree to the time slot move, I feel that perhaps it would have  helped his show if he had moved to 12:05am.  He was getting a poor lead in from the local news due to Leno failing in primetime.  Had Leno have been his lead in after the news once again, perhaps O’Brien’s ratings would have soared and when Leno finally retired for good at some point O’Brien would have gotten his time slot back with top numbers.  But of course,  all of this is purely speculation because no one knows for sure what may have happened.

I believe the interview shows that Leno wasn’t being selfish about this whole mess.  When he said  that he asked to be released from his contract when NBC approached him to do a half hour show at 11:35pm  it showed that Leno did not want to bump Conan.  The fact that NBC would not let him simply leave the network shows that O’Brien’s Tonight Show was struggling and NBC knew it.  If all of the people had tuned into The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien as faithfully as they had during his last couple of weeks, then it would have most likely been game over for Leno when NBC pulled the plug on his primetime gig.

So as for who is right and who is wrong in this whole late night conundrum I don’t know, and it’s not my place to say.  All I can say is that perhaps neither man was right or wrong and it is the network, NBC, itself that was wrong.  They shouldn’t have tried to take away a show that was number one when Leno had it so far in advance.  Even though O’Brien was threatening to move to another network at the time, they should have waited to see how Leno was going to do before making the announcement official.  I think that NBC just rushed into everything without thinking and did its planning too early.

Finally, I am a huge Conan O’Brien fan but I am just one person and it takes more than just one to keep a show on the air.  As I mentioned previously, if all of the people watching the last couple of weeks on O’Brien’s show had tuned in for the last seven months then this situation would have ended much differently.

I don’t believe that Jay Leno is an evil man who was out to get Conan, I think that this is like everything else in the world of business.  Many people tend to forget that what we watch on television is simply that, a business.  They are in this to make money. If they weren’t making money with O’Brien then they made the obvious business choice to let him go and see if the man who once made money for them can do it once again.  Like everything else in this economy NBC is simply trying to survive.   Jay you definitely have your work cut out for you! And Conan, I can’t wait to see you on another network soon! I’m sure this is just an opening to a better future  for you.

—Matthew Casey

What do you think about his interview?

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It might have been his last show, but Conan O’Brien proved that he can draw in the masses.  Early national ratings reports indicate that O’Brien had a 4.8 rating share in the 18-49 year old demographic on Friday night.  This is NBC’s most targeted audience as this is what determines the price of advertising for the network and advertisers are always trying to reach out to these people.

These reports are still early, but if the numbers hold this would mean that O’Brien was able to beat out any other show that has been on NBC this season in this ratings demographic.  Even though this was his last show and there was a lot of hype about it because of the fracas of his battle with NBC, the ability for O’Brien to attract these kind of ratings is a testament to his character.  These preliminary rating reports could lend Conan a helping hand in getting a show on another network.

The most likely new home for O’Brien will be the Fox network.  The network is  having difficulties, however, in winning over the idea of giving up profit generating syndicated programming in favour of a late night talk show with its local stations.  Hopefully his achievements in his ratings in the final episode and over the last couple of weeks will be enough to propel him on Fox and win over the local stations.  If nothing else, these numbers show that Conan O’Brien is very popular and has the potential to attract a large following.  All he needs is a station that will give him a good lead in, unlike NBC where he suffered with the lead in from the local news.  The  most likely reason for this is because the local news had poor lead ins from the failing Jay Leno Show.

—Matthew Casey


An end of a late night era has just come to a close.  Conan O’Brien bid his farewells to NBC and his fans on his final episode of “The Tonight Show”.  The show was very well put together and included quite a few high profile guests to send him on his way. Conan seemed very humble throughout the show.  There seemed to be a different side to him tonight, he didn’t act like the NBC bashing man he was for the last couple of weeks.  In fact he seemed thankful to NBC for everything they gave him over the years despite the recent differences they have had.

He seemed to be very modest about everything and didn’t portray much hate towards the company that housed him for over twenty years.  In fact a comment that he made towards the end of the show was very surprising to me.  He stated that young people should not be cynical about this whole situation, mentioning that cynicism was his least favourite quality because it gets people nowhere.  This remark really resonated with me because I would have expected him to be full of cynical thoughts given his situation.   He mentioned he was very lucky to have even had his job for seven months and that to host the “Tonight Show” is every comics dream.

The way that Conan ended his show tonight displayed to everyone that he is the better man in this situation.  He ended it with dignity and class, and it looked much better then going out guns blazing at NBC.  It showed that he was a bigger man who is modest about the circumstances and he is looking forward to the future and he is not going to dwell on the incident. He didn’t even blame anyone once during the whole show for the fiasco.  Even though he could have been full of hate and spite tonight, he chose to show the nation that he has class and that should land him a high place in the book of respect.

I think he is setting a good example for people. At least on the camera he seemed to hold no malice towards anyone which seems like a good thing for people to follow.   Sure it has been fun to watch him the last few weeks really “stick it to the man” as it were, but he  brought everything back to reality, that this is all just show business and that there is a real world out there with real problems.  Throughout the show he kept mentioning the name of a charity for people to donate for relief efforts in Haiti.  I applaud him for the way he handled his last show, he really made a point to make people realize that what happened to him isn’t anything compared to what is going on in the real world.

As the credits began to roll across the bottom of the screen at then end of the show, I really couldn’t help but feel like I was losing a friend.  A friend who brought me laughs for years almost every night at the end of a hard day. I can’t wait to see him on the airwaves again as soon as he can get on them.  Late night just simply isn’t the same anymore.

Farewell Coco, many good things lie ahead for you I’m sure. Thanks for the laughs.

—Matthew Casey


This should be good.  It has been confirmed today that the Queen of talk Oprah Winfrey will be flying out to Los Angeles to interview the funny man Jay Leno.  Maybe this will give Jay the chance to fix up his reputation, if it is even possible to do so, in light of the whole giving the “Tonight Show” torch to Conan O’Brien and then taking it back seven months later.  Of course it’s wrong to blame this whole mess on Leno as he is probably just doing what NBC wants him to do.

The interview is set to air on Oprah’s show next Thursday, January 28.  Should be interesting to see what Jay has to say about things.  The public certainly won’t be hearing from Conan for a while because his exit contract prohibits him from doing any interviews or comments about his departure from NBC until at least September.

—Matthew Casey


One of the reasons that Conan O’Brien has been so popular these last few weeks, aside from the fact that they’re his last days on NBC,  has to do with something that a lot of people wish they could do.  Tell their boss to go to you know where when they’re getting pushed around.

In the very public battle over the last couple of weeks the nation has watched as the big NBC executives have tried to push the “little man” (and I use that loosely because obviously Conan is quite the person…) Conan O’Brien around.  But he said no. He wouldn’t take the flack.  Instead Conan stood up for what he believed was right and never wavered from his decision to not go with what NBC was proposing.

His last couple of weeks as host of the “Tonight Show” have given the opportunity for people to watch a battle between a man and a big corporation.  And although NBC really seems to have  won, I think everyone has enjoyed watching Conan “stick it to the man”.   In a sense people who have had battles with the “man” in their own respects are living vicariously through him, imagining what it would be like if they could do the same to their employers who might be giving them a hard time.    Conan is one lucky guy, he has the opportunity to blast his employer on national television, something many people probably have dreamed of at one point or another.

—Matthew Casey