Leno: Who Passed the Torch in 2004?

01/20/2010 at 11:30 am | Posted in Net/Spec | 2 Comments
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Who passed The Tonight Show‘s torch to Conan in 2004?  It depends on who you ask:  Leno 2004 or Leno 2009.

Below is a link to one of my favorite websites – seriously, these guys are 100x wiser than me – where they posted two very important pieces of info when it comes to this whole late night (non-baby mama) drama.

First up, they posted both the video and transcript from The Jay Leno Show a few nights ago.  On that show, Leno explained it was NBC‘s decision to give Conan the show due to him getting offers from other networks.  Jay was just being a team player and going along with it.

The next video comes from 2004, where Leno explained it was his idea to give Conan the show.  Conan was getting other offers for when his current contract was up, and both NBC & Leno didn’t want to lose him.  According to Leno 2004, both of them saw Conan as the future of their late night franchise.  Also, Leno said while he wasn’t getting out of show biz, he was alright with giving it up.

With this section of iamnoahjames.com dedicated for news & analysis, I’m not really going to give an editorial piece for these two Leno clips.  However, while watching/reading this link, I want you to remember some things:

1.  Part of Leno’s popularity is the blue collar appeal.  That’s why all the entertainment & city dwellers’ outrage over Leno bumping Conan probably  won’t hurt Leno’s numbers when he goes back to The Tonight Show.  Watch him as he uses the blue collar angle.

2.  Remember that it took Leno 18 months to get The Tonight Show to #1.  Trust me, that will probably change how you look at one of the points Leno makes in the 2009 section.  Both Jay Leno & Jerry Seinfeld have both recently come out and said no one should complain; if a show is struggling, networks bump them, so you really can’t complain.  So while I’m not going to call bullsh*t on them for that (to avoid this being an editorial), I do want to point out that both of those guys had about 2 years to get their respective shows out of the “cancel” category.  Meanwhile, Conan’s been on 7 months.

3.  In the 2009 clip, Leno says that he was offered The Tonight Show by NBC if Conan “decides to walk and doesn’t want to do [the show]”.  He said he’d go back if that’s what Conan wanted to do.  However, this timeline doesn’t match up to the facts of when Jay signed the contract to go back to the old show vs. Conan “deciding to leave”.  In actuality, it’s been the NBC executives’ decision to ditch Conan; and even days after Jay signed, Conan’s team of reps have been fighting to keep him on The Tonight Show.

So please check out this link.  But make sure to come on back to discuss, comment, ask questions, etc:


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