Are you confused by this whole NBC/Leno/Conan clusterfuck? Yeah, well, join the friggin’ club. The only thing that appears to be a sure thing in all of this is that Conan is getting screwed, though just how hard remains to be seen. Regardless, here’s the latest…
-Bill Carter of the New York Times, the guy who literally wrote the book on late night television wars, reports that Leno is being moved to 11:30 where he’ll do a half hour show. Conan will be pushed back to 12:05 where he’ll continue to host the hour-long Tonight Show. Jimmy Fallon will have his incredibly horrible show pushed back to 1:05. This proposed lineup would take effect after NBC airs the Winter Olympics in February.
-TMZ is reporting this morning that NBC has given Conan the option to walk away if he’s not happy with the new proposed arrangement and they won’t do anything legally to try to stop him. Further, they report that Conan is understandably “pissed” and that all of this came totally out of left field to him…he had absolutely no advance warning. Something tells me Conan’s agents will be making and receiving lots of phone calls in the coming days.
-The only clear winner in all of this appears to be Ann Curry and Hoda Kotb. Why? Because NBC is going to need programming to fill Leno’s 10pm time slot five days per week, and since scripted programming, hell even reality shows, can take months to produce, the network will likely relying heavily on newsmagazine shows like Dateline NBC, hosted by Curry and Kotb, to fill the void. Maybe they can bring Stone Phillips out of retirement to help out? I kinda miss Stone Phillips.