Saturday, January 23, 2010

Conan, Jay and NBC: What we've learned.

After Friday night's great finale for THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH CONAN O'BRIEN, I now feel free to make a list of things I've learned (as well as most of you reading this):
1. I can't wait for Comcast to fire Jeff Zucker, Jeff Gaspin and Dick Ebersol and bring in new
executives that might have some grasp as to how to run a broadcast network in the 21st century.
2. NBC's trying to create a new myth--that THE TONIGHT SHOW is a franchise must be executed in strict lowest-common-denominator fashion in order for it to be Number One.
That myth is based solely on Jay Leno's pandering-to-fratboys tenure on the show since 1995. If you take the network's myth
as gospel, then Steve Allen (too quirky) and Jack Parr (too talky, books too many smart guests) could never host the show if they were alive today. Even Johnny Carson, who would occasionally book author Truman Capote and scientist Carl Sagan, would be suspect to current NBC management.
3. In spite of NBC giving Conan a gag order and allowing Jay to go on OPRAH for another platform for Mr. Leno to do his ".....ehhhhh, I'm just a working class guy that NBC took off when I was Number One" schtick, the legend of Coco will persist. Especially because Conan was likely screwed into the ground by network weasels who insisted that he try hard to mute his normal humor and come up with a Leno-esque way of doing THE TONIGHT SHOW--and, then, when Conan was passive-aggressively fired for giving them the show they wanted, they turned around and unfairly accused him of "not listening" to them.
4. Conan O'Brien's next TV series may not knock off Jay, Dave or Jimmy Kimmel (likely the front-runner for Leno's TONIGHT SHOW chair), but it's guaranteed to be fresher and funnier than its competition--as long as network execs let Conan be Conan and stop all the second-guessing and other interfering-with-creativity nonsense.

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