City of Brass

City of Brass

The perfect solution for NBC, Leno, Conan and the Tonight Show

The bottom line: Jay Leno’s prime time show isn’t working out, NBC wants to move him back to late night, but since Conan O’Brien has the contract for The Tonight Show, they want to bump him 30 min later and put a Leno show right before it. Conan has famously refused, arguing that this would kill the Tonight Show franchise, and he makes a pretty compelling case. (btw Conan, apology accepted. We’re cool.)

I admit I haven’t watched Leno since my college days, and Conan has always been too late night for me. And part of what I propose here is probably flawed in some kind of demographic sense, but since none of these shows are truly live anyway and we live in the era of time-shifting and digital viewing, I don’t think it should matter that much.


The obvious solution to my mind – which preserves Leno’s reputation as nice guy to boot, since he sort of comes off as the dilettante villain in this affair – is simply to swap. Give Conan the prime-time slot that Leno had, call it Prime Time with Conan O’Brien. Make it a live-broadcast, if Conan is willing. Put Leno back where he belongs, at the helm of The Tonight Show. Everybody wins – especially Conan’s fans, who are going to grow in number if he’s on at a more accessible time. I think Conan could be the evening version of Oprah if you give him a big enough stage, and what better stage is there than prime time? Meanwhile, Leno had his experiment and it didn’t sit well, so let him go back to what he does best.

What do you think, Jay? Conan? you suits at NBC?

Comments read comments(5)
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Randall Lind

posted January 14, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Why Should Conan give up the Tonight Show cause Jay show bombed? Jay said on his show he was fired form The Tonight Show and now fire again.
How can you be fired from The Tonight Show when it was a 5 year plan to have Conan replace him which Jay agreed to?
Jay just needs to retired and get over himself. NBC says the tonight Show viewers are down maybe so but the lead in show which was Jay’s helped cause some of that.
If NBC actually gave Conan a fair shot Like they did Jay I bet The Tonight Show would pick up.

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The Problem

posted January 14, 2010 at 12:47 pm

the problem is that the affiliates don’t want a talk show at 9 because its a poor lead in for the news and the tonight show, which is why conans ratings were never as good as Lenos (nevermind the fact he was only in it for 6 months to boot)vfm

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Shirley Walczer

posted January 14, 2010 at 7:27 pm

Retire them all and give the best time to CRAIG FERGUSON!!!

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posted January 14, 2010 at 9:22 pm

I think the networks should compete more with the 24 hour news channels on cable. They should move the NEWS to 3a.m.-8a.m. That would open up an extra 30 minutes for more programming. NBC already skips the lunch-time news in some cities anyway. That way Jay, Conan, Jimmy F. and ah…that later than that guy no ones talking about with the weird chicks and the rare music picks just stay the same for the summer audience rating.

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My Turn

posted January 15, 2010 at 6:16 pm

This is a ridiculous discussion on an Islamic site. Who cares about either show at a time like this? Why do you start such an unworthy topic? You think you are going to save the world by solving a dispute that is nothing more than a fight based on ego/vanity, or, worse, on money? Maybe NBC would be kinder to us and shut down the show all together. People might begin using that time to figure out how to relax and meditate . . . how to be a family again. And, NO, I am not talking about sex. I am suggesting that we had learned to spend far too much time glued to our screens that we forgot how to talk to one another, or how to take advantage of that show time to do better things that promise to improve our lives. We have forgotten how to be a family of wholesome individuals. Maybe then, we won’t need pills to sleep, nor bags of chips to help us pass the time. And, YOU, of all people, should know better.

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