The Leno-palooza

Jeff Gaspin’s announcemennt of Jay Leno moving from 10 p.m. and back to his comfy 11:35 latenight spot was the result of an affiliate revolution.

Gaspin said the network would’ve been content with keeping Leno at 10, as was the original business plan of creating cheaper primetime programming, despite relatively poor ratings. Affils, however, couldn’t continue to bleed ratings and ad sales and Gaspin was clearly forced to act sooner rather than the projected 52 weeks that was part of the original plan.

Now the forthgoing strategy is dependent upon if Conan wants to remain at NBC. He’ll still have “The Tonight Show” franchise and be part of its illustrious legacy, but will it be a tarnished crown? Is having “The Tonight Show” at midnight hold the same luster as having it air a half-hour earlier?

He could say enough’s enough, and tempt fate with a possible move to Fox, but by doing so he’s risking substantial coin and Fox might decide it’ll go in a different direction.

Gaspin says he’s waiting for all the parties — including Jimmy Fallon, who will have to move his show to 1 a.m. if Conan agrees to the midnight shift — to think it over a few more days before anything can become official.

Peacock would like to move forward with the transition of the end of Vancouver Olympics, a natural break for latenight programming following the Games.

Stay tuned.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More TV News from Variety