Monday, January 11, 2010

Leno's 10 P.M. Viewer Objects To Time Change

The only person in America who said he watched Jay Leno’s 10 p.m. talk show on NBC held a press conference on Monday denouncing the network’s plan to move the comic host back to 11:30.

“Some of us have to get up early in the morning,” said Robert J. Reinhertz, 53, of Fairfield, CT through a yawn.

Reinhertz, who drives a bakery delivery truck, said he had never seen “The Tonight Show” or any other late night programming because he’s asleep promptly by 11 p.m. So Leno’s 10 p.m., nightly talk show with its opening monologue had been appealing.

“He takes items in the news and pokes fun at them,” said a drowsy Reinhertz. “I thought, now there’s a great concept. People should be doing more of that.”

Also on Monday, 18 people identified by the Nielsen Group as having stuck with the Tonight Show after Conan O’Brien took over held a seprate press conference in Los Angeles pleading with NBC not to change O’Brien’s slot, while no one had anything to say about the future of the 12:30 a.m. “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.”

Shifting Leno from his successful 11:30 perch to 10 p.m., to prevent O’Brien from going to another network and to save production costs of expensive dramas like the 36 “Law and Order” spinoffs that had been running on NBC, has turned into a huge debacle for the struggling network.

This week executives were expected to announce that in February they would plug the holes in the winter prime time schedule with a new round of reality shows, the first of which will be called “Who Wants To Be A Network Programming Executive?”

“That show would not only provide another cheap hour with amateur talent, “ an inside source told Stories To Watch, “but would also serve as a screening process to replace NBC/Universal’s Jeff Zucker, the brain trust behind the Leno time change.”

As to the late night lineup, the source said it was likely NBC, desperate to keep both Leno and O’Brien without losing ratings, would likely give each a 10-minute show, followed by programs hosted by Joan Rivers, Richard Lewis, Chevy Chase, Chris Rock, Steve Martin and anyone else who shows up in the studio between 1:15 and 1:30 a.m.

In related news, CBS’s David Letterman reacted to the announcement of NBC’s troubles by discussing more details about his sex life.