Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Jay Leno Show moving?

There’s a rumor that NBC is pulling the plug on The Jay Leno Show or that they’re going to push it back 11:35pm again. The reason isn’t low ratings (even though the show is getting low ratings, it’s still cheap to produce so the network is making money), it’s because the show is a poor lead-in to the news.

I don’t know about you guys but I’m reading all of my news nowadays. and are places I visit every day. And for things that they tease on the news (i.e. “Coming up, see why Britney Spears is in prison this evening”), I go right to the internet and look it up. I don’t wait for the news.

I don’t know if you guys had the same experience with news as I have, but I remember a time when they would tease things coming up on the news and I would watch it. But instead of starting with the story they teased, every time they’d go to commercial, they would tease the story again as “coming up” until they’d play that story last. That used to drive me nuts. I had to watch the entire program to see the piece I’d wanted to see.

Not anymore – news is when I want it, whenever I want it (at least until they start charging for access).

For me, Jay Leno coming on at 10pm was good news. I love watching that opening monologue before going to bed (I have to get up at 5:30am) and I missed watching Leno. And now he’s not only on at a time when I can see him but his show is such an unpredictable mix of comedy, sketches, and interviews that I can’t wait to see it every night. Not only is Ross the Intern back but Leno gets regular contributions from Adam Carolla, a lot of great comedians, and the always hilarious JMZ segments. Plus he’s got celebs doing the green car challenge which is a great way to get advertising dollars but have celebs competing against each other. And he has 10 questions with a celeb which is always fun to watch and the ‘earn your plug’ segment where we get to see that celebrity do something we’ve never seen them do. Whenever he has a musical performer on, the show isn’t over right after they perform, Leno actually gets to interview that person and then the show is over.

I like the unpredictable mix, the easygoing pace, and the new things he’s doing. Here is an outline for every other late night show on the planet: Opening monologue, comedic sketch/bit, interview guest A, interview guest B, musical performance, roll credits. Entertainment Weekly said The Jay Leno Show would break the mold and it did. I hope that it doesn’t get chopped down to a half hour and moved to a time when I can’t watch it.

The news is going to continue to pull in poor ratings when it’s so abundant on demand. And modern TV defies ratings. You can’t count on ratings to define viewership since you have VCRs, DVRs, and the internet (and NO not like the always buffering or the network websites themselves, I’m talking about going to limewire or bearshare and downloading the divx file someone made with their DVR so that you can watch it buffer free). If ratings were any indication of the success of a show you’d never have the enormous success of that show on DVD (Firefly, Chuck, etc.). Firefly’s DVD success (after only having 10 episodes ever air on network television) led to a movie that not only made money for the studio, but also enjoyed overwhelming success on DVD.

Is there anyone else like me? Someone who is working full time and going to school full time, who can’t be counted on to watch any show every week? I don’t have a VCR or a DVR but I have a DVD and Blu Ray player (PS3 counts) so I crush out an entire season of something in about a month in my spare time. The shows that I love I don’t watch on TV. I wait until they go to DVD and I buy the season. On the weekends, if I have time, I might catch some shows that don’t go to DVD – The Real World (or the Real World/Road Rules challenge), Dog the Bounty Hunter, whatever World’s Greatest (whether it’s ‘Police Chases’ or ‘Disasters Caught on Camera) is playing on Real TV. Right now I’m watching Legend of the Seeker – it’s the first time I’ve seen the show – no idea what’s going on.

Anyway, I know the plan is to push Leno back because of the Olympics (which is normal for the Olympic broadcast) but the rumor is that once the Olympics are over, keep Leno at that time. I hope that it doesn’t happen so I can keep enjoying the show.

"As you may have heard, there's a rumor floating around that we were canceled. ... I heard it coming in this morning on the radio," Leno said. "So far, nobody's said anything to me, but if we did get canceled, it'd give us time to maybe do some traveling. In fact, I understand Fox is beautiful this time of year."

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