Saturday, June 28, 2008

taking it on the chin

A story in The Hollywood Reporter suggests that the best post-"Tonight Show" option for Jay Leno is to join ABC. We've heard this idea again and again and again over the past year and a half. The article also spells out scenarios for Leno to move to Fox, CBS and into syndication. Their conclusion is that the only job Leno really wants is "The Tonight Show."

As bad as Leno's show is, it would make a better lead-in to Jimmy Kimmel's show than "Nightline." However I think that if "Nightline" were to go away, Jimmy should get the chance to compete with Conan O'Brien's new "Tonight Show" at 11:35. If ABC ends up hiring Leno, they should only give him a half-hour show. He can do his monologue and his Jaywalking (or whatever) and skip the celebrity interviews that are not his strong point.

Quick side note: It bugs me when the "Nightline" anchors sign off by saying "good night America" followed by ten seconds of instrumental theme music as they show the New York skyline. Their tone of voice and the dark picture also seem to say "and now, ABC ends its broadcast day. Join us tomorrow for 'Sunrise Semester.'" It reminds me of something I learned about in college. Two political candidates each bought an hour of radio time, back-to-back. The first candidate ended his speech after forty-five minutes, said good night to America, and then deliberately ran fifteen minutes of dead air before his opponent could begin.

Because I always record "Jimmy Kimmel Live," it doesn't matter to me all that much whether it starts at 11:35, 12:05 or 12:35. It will still look the same when I watch it the next day. However it would be easiest for me if NBC figured out a way to keep Jay Leno, even if it means a big payment to Conan O'Brien for delaying the start of his "Tonight Show" era. That way I won't have to modify the Season Pass for "Jimmy Kimmel Live" on my TiVo.

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