Sunday, January 10, 2010

Leno cancelled (Ava and C.I. told you in November)

Pop Eater reports NBC has announced it's canceled Jay Leno's primetime show. This is from their article:

Affiliates were upset that the show was leading fewer viewers into their late news programs, costing them significant advertising revenue. Some told NBC in December they would go public soon about their complaints if a change wasn't made, or even take Leno's show off the air.

"I would have liked nothing more than to give this a 52-week try," Gaspin said. "Affiliates started calling, saying local news was being impacted more than expected. In some cases, they had the No. 1 news show, and now they were No. 3."

"The drumbeat started getting louder," he said.

Jay Leno was The Tonight Show host on NBC for years (replacing Johnny Carson). NBC was ready to move Conan O'Brien (hideous) up to the slot but didn't want Jay to go to another network (I believe he had to wait at least two years by his contract then before he could do somewhere else). And they were cheap. So they decided to get rid of strong dramas like Medium (picked up by CBS which airs it on Fridays) and use the last hour of prime time Monday through Friday for a 'new' show by Jay Leno. It was the same show but without the energy. That show has been cancelled.

And note the reasons why: The tanking of the affiliates with Jay's low rated show as a lead in. From our "Roundtable" at Third this morning:

Jim: Stan wanted to say something about the TV articles here.

Stan: As I pointed out at my site last week ["Promise Her Anything" and "Those shows with bad ratings . . ."], the news media is telling us that Jay Leno's show is in danger and probably over and that this has to do with stations who carry NBC programming but are not NBC owned and how the November ratings were so awful that they're demanding the issue be addressed right away. That was news at the end of last week. Of course, it was news here back in November if you read Ava and C.I.'s "TV: The nightly talk shows." And I just wanted to be sure Ava and C.I. got credit for their reporting. They scooped everyone. Not the first time, won't be the last.

From Ava and C.I.'s

"TV: The nightly talk shows:"

Jay is tanking in the ratings, Monday through Friday. The hope was that he would at least come in third. It appears they should have hoped "at least fourth" because FX is hauling in significant numbers. Jay Leno's show is a bomb. Not 'the bomb,' a bomb.
And NBC thought they could screw people over. We're not speaking of the audience, we're speaking of station owners -- station owners, not NBC owned stations. We spoke to three owners who carry NBC programming and they're wondering how much longer they can afford to keep Leno on? They reminded us that it was ten years ago that NBC had to face the fact that they could keep producing Another World but the stations wouldn't just keep putting on a lemon that drove audiences away. They're toying with expanding local news or offering syndicated re-runs in place of Leno.
And the damage Jay does to the ratings goes far beyond that last hour of prime time. Local stations are seriously hurting with their nightly newscasts because Jay is their lead in.
NBC seems to think that as long as they make a profit, the ratings don't matter. Too bad for NBC, they only own 10 US stations. Almost 200 of the stations carrying NBC programming are affiliates and they're seeing declining ratings in the last hour of prime time and declining ratings for their nightly news.

Let me echo my cousin Stan: You heard it from Ava and C.I. November 15th, they were speaking to the affiliates. Back when NBC was claiming the show would air for a full 52 weeks and that it was a ratings winner for NBC and that they'd stand by it and blah blah blah. They spoke to three of the largest owners of affiliate (chains) carrying NBC programming and were told differently. They were told the nightly news ratings were cratering with Leno and that they were going to drop Leno -- maybe replace him with syndicated reruns maybe expand the nightly news by an hour.

Today NBC cancels Jay Leno's show and for the reasons Ava and C.I. told you were going to force it off the air.

Stan told me he got a special thrill in quoting from the Docker Boys' New York Times article that went up Friday night because, as usual, the Docker Boys were late to the party and trying to play catch up. Ava and C.I. scooped them all.

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