Thursday, October 19, 2006
Pure Rampant Gossip-Mongering About Jay Leno
Variety uses a completely beside -the-point ruckusn over Leno having California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on his show (the Democratic nominee wants equal time) to talk about Leno's deal to step down from the Tonight Show in 2009. It always seemed slightly surreal to me that the workaholic Leno would agree to leave The Tonight Show in 2009 after 17 years on the air to make way for Conan O'Brien. Leno is still king in the ratings and he's such a workaholic (the piece mentions that Leno does 150 dates on top of his Tonight Show responsibilities, which is insane) that you'd think he would go crazy. So here are the possibilities. Whoever is in charge of NBC decides to stick with Leno and screw over O'Brien. Then O'Brien goes to Fox or ABC to do a talk show at 10 p.m. (Fox) or 11 p.m. (ABC or Fox). Or LENO decides to set up shop elsewhere and try to kick O'Brien and Letterman's ass. There's no reason to discuss this right now since it's years away from happening. But the least dramatic scenario -- Leno "retiring" and O'Brien taking over the Tonight Show quietly -- would buck decades of late night TV sturm und drang.