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Conan addresses "People of Earth"

How can cultural elitists like ourselves put TV in the Culture category? Well, where the hell else is it going to fit?

Re: Conan addresses "People of Earth"

Postby boston_jeff » Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:11 pm

What he said.
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Re: Conan addresses "People of Earth"

Postby rrnate » Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:30 pm

fisticuffs wrote:I think the disconnect here is the audience for Jay. People who think Jay is funny are mostly people who don't know a whole lot about or haven't been exposed to many kinds of comedy. They're the ones filling up the theater for Snow Dogs and The Bucket List. They only understand (or "get") jokes of the most un-evolved simple level. Basically they are to comedy what Dave Matthews fans are to music.


Yup, that's pretty much spot-on. From a business perspective, putting Conan in Jay's spot (to say nothing of the weird Jay-at-9 o'clock thing, which was never popular with affiliates) always seemed weird to me. There are 5 million people that want to see John Travolta in a dress, that want to see Jeff Dunham live-in-concert and want to chuckle along with Jay and Kevin.

Of course Conan is way more funny, but he's not going to appeal to Jay's audience.

Also - I don't understand why NBC has been so public with all of this before ironing out what they'll do with Jay & Conan (and of course, Jimmy Fallon too). That strikes me as one of the weirdest parts of this. Both Conan and Jay (no matter what you think of their shows) seem like the type of people that wouldn't want to hash this out the way it's going down, but NBC seems to have gone about negotiations backwards.

At any rate, in the long run, hopefully it'll be good for Conan in that he's getting a lot of free (and predominantly very positive) press coverage.
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Re: Conan addresses "People of Earth"

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:49 pm

As someone who just doesn't find late night talk shows to be particularly entertaining, I'd personally like to see Conan take this opportunity to stay off the air as a performer and just write and produce stuff. Gimme another Andy Barker, P.I. while you're still hot enough to get pretty much any project you want off the ground, please.
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Re: Conan addresses "People of Earth"

Postby boston_jeff » Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:51 pm

I think where I disagree with many is the contention that Conan will never do well in that time slot. I think given the benefit of time he will develop an audience to compete with Dave, and it will be a show of a much higher quality than Jay's ever was (it already is). When Dave retires, Conan will carry the torch for our demographic. This is what NBC supposedly wanted, this is what Jay agreed to.

The 10 PM show was a debacle on many levels including as a lead-in to the news and the Tonight Show with Conan. Jay should walk away gracefully, NBC should give Conan the time he needs to develop his program, and everyone (with half a brain) is happy. The bottom line is always an issue, but the network lost money on Jay when he debuted too. This whole thing stinks and Conan is the only person who comes out looking good IMO. He will not compromise Carson's legacy and he is willing to walk away from 40 mil to stand up to chinboy and the brass. Good for him. I hope NBC comes to its senses, but if not, Conan will find a home somewhere.
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Re: Conan addresses "People of Earth"

Postby boston_jeff » Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:56 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:As someone who just doesn't find late night talk shows to be particularly entertaining, I'd personally like to see Conan take this opportunity to stay off the air as a performer and just write and produce stuff. Gimme another Andy Barker, P.I. while you're still hot enough to get pretty much any project you want off the ground, please.


Good show, but I'm pretty sure that those types of projects don't align with Conan's primary goals (or his wallet). Late night is what he does.
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Re: Conan addresses "People of Earth"

Postby wallrock » Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:32 pm

I can't say I've watched the Tonight Show all that often in the last seven months, mainly due to the fact I don't watch much late night TV anymore, but I'll always be a fan. As previously said, Conan carries the torch for my demographic.
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Re: Conan addresses "People of Earth"

Postby Huckleby » Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:36 pm

boston_jeff wrote:I think where I disagree with many is the contention that Conan will never do well in that time slot. I think given the benefit of time he will develop an audience to compete with Dave, and it will be a show of a much higher quality than Jay's ever was (it already is).


Why are the people who prefer Leno now going to switch to Conan? You aren't going to catch up to Leno's ratings just with new young people.

boston_jeff wrote:When Dave retires, Conan will carry the torch for our demographic.

If so, he can do this just as well at Fox as he can NBC. What's the big deal? Conan will be in his late 50's when Letterman retires. Letterman has changed quite a bit the last 20 years, so will Conan.

boston_jeff wrote:NBC should give Conan the time he needs to develop his program

They don't share your opinion that Conan will ever be mainstream any time soon. Why would you want him to be? I agree with NBC on that one.

boston_jeff wrote: This whole thing stinks and Conan is the only person who comes out looking good IMO.

Conan is the wronged one, OK. Nobody will care for long.
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Re: Conan addresses "People of Earth"

Postby boston_jeff » Thu Jan 14, 2010 5:15 pm

I'm tired of arguing with you. Keep posting, I'll keep ignoring.
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Re: Conan addresses "People of Earth"

Postby Huckleby » Thu Jan 14, 2010 11:19 pm

I wasn't arguing with you, just using you as a foil. If you don't mind having to ignore me, I'd be grateful for more material to work with.

One point I'm a little shakey on is whether Leno owes anything to Conan. Conan has a deal with NBC. Leno has a deal with NBC, and as far as I can tell has kept up his end of the bargain. The fact that Leno doesn't want to retire really is just his perogative.
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Re: Conan addresses "People of Earth"

Postby LLUrbanUnderachiever » Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:35 am

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Re: Conan addresses "People of Earth"

Postby Huckleby » Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:29 pm

That was funny. I think it went OK, it wasn't that nasty or awkward, just honest.

All those late night show hosts are competitors with each other. Leno is the top dog, of course they all want Leno to retire and fade off into the sunset. Leno has no obligation to retire, it's his right to keep working if thats what he enjoys. Since he draws the best ratings, he's in a commanding position.

As you look at the sequence of events, I just don't see where Leno did anything wrong:

1) He signs a contract agreeing to give up the Tonight Show in 5 years.
2) He fulfills his part of the bargain.
3) NBC doesn't want to lose Leno's audience, so they give him an early show.
4) NBC is forced by affiliates to cancel Leno's show, even though Leno is still drawing more than any other evening talk show.
5) NBC doesn't want to lose Leno to a competitor, so they attempt to keep him with an awkward compromise: Conan keeps the hour-long Tonight brand, Leno gets a half-hour in most desirable slot.
6) Conan sees he's getting a raw deal, refuses to take it.
7) Presumably Conan will leave, and Leno will get the Tonight Show back.

Now where the hell has Leno done anything unethical? Do you expect him to resign with NBC in protest as a favor to Conan?

Most of the comedians who are hating on Leno dislike him for being a mainstream sellout with his bland comedy. Plus they are jealous of his success. They are mad that Conan got edged out, so Leno makes a convienent target for blame/hate.
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Re: Conan addresses "People of Earth"

Postby rabble » Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:01 pm

Huckleby wrote:4) NBC is forced by affiliates to cancel Leno's show, even though Leno is still drawing more than any other evening talk show.

Okay, I haven't been following this as closely as I obviously should have but this surprises me. NBC is being "forced" to pull a successful show by "affiliates?"

I had no idea NBC was such a wimpy pushover. Just how affiliated are they if they want to screw up a good advertising opp?
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Re: Conan addresses "People of Earth"

Postby Huckleby » Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:28 pm

Not sure I have this exactly correct, but the local advertising revenue for the affiliates dropped 30% AFTER Leno's show compared to what they were used to getting with a more popular, scripted primetime show. It was a good deal for NBC, cheap programming with decent ratings to fill an hour, but the affiliates were getting screwed. I'm not sure how the affiliates exercised leverage, perhaps threatening to replace Leno's show with local programming?
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Re: Conan addresses "People of Earth"

Postby TheBookPolice » Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:41 pm

Huckleby wrote:I'm not sure how the affiliates exercised leverage, perhaps threatening to replace Leno's show with local programming?

Not sure how that got missed, because it's been at the core of this whole absurd debacle.

http://www.tvweek.com/blogs/2010/01/beh ... liates.php

Aaron Barnhart, the TV Critic at the Kansas City Star and our longtime colleague, raised the issue immediately in Sunday’s Q&A between TV critics and reporters and Jeff Gaspin, chairman of NBC Universal Television Entertainment: Since the reason NBC was giving for cancelling Leno’s primetime show was complaints from its affiliates, how much of the decision to listen to these affiliates was because of the pending deal for Comcast to take a majority share of NBCU, and NBCU’s desire to keep all of the players it's involved with enthusiastic about the deal?

Here’s what Gaspin said in response: “Absolutely zero. They [Comcast] have nothing to do with business decisions we make, and they won’t until there is regulatory approval. Right now all I’m doing is my job. All we’re doing is our jobs and not thinking what might be a year from now.”

...

Then there were the following few Qs&As:

A Reporter’s Question: “Did you get a sense of how many affiliates were going to start preempting [the Leno show if it continued in primetime]?”

Gaspin: “There was about a third. There was about a third that were really hurt by [their local news ratings after Leno’s show] and were incredibly concerned.”

Question: “Contractually would they be able to preempt the show?”

Gaspin: “That’s a question more for the lawyers than for me. It becomes more of a public relations issue than a contractual issue. Do you want to have your affiliates, your partners, constantly saying ‘This is killing me’? It just was going to damage Jay, and it was going to damage NBC. So regardless of what legally the position was, this was going to continue to be a PR nightmare.”
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Re: Conan addresses "People of Earth"

Postby rabble » Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:32 pm

So... because the income for the spot after Leno's show had dropped, the affiliates were going to respond by preempting Leno's show, where the income had not dropped.

I don't understand show business.
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