NBC executives are planning to move Jay Leno off prime-time and into the 11:35pm spot, which is currently occupied by The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien.
The plan would be to cut down Leno’s show from an hour to :30 minutes and move the long running Tonight Show to 12:05am.
The move would certainly benefit NBC affiliates, whose 11pm newscast ratings have taken a massive hit, with some TV stations losing nearly 30% percent of their audience due to Leno’s lead in.
Any change would probably not take effect until March, after the Winter Olympics is completed on NBC.
As I predicted last year, this 10pm experiment would become a disaster for NBC. Not only did NBC executives destroy their prime-time line up, but they’ve also put their late-night lineup in danger of being over taken by CBS.
In reality, the only reason NBC managed to hold on to Leno is to keep him away from ABC. In the end, NBC will probably wind up losing Leno or O’Brien or both. The big beneficiaries, Fox and ABC, who would love to work on cutting into NBC’s once invincible late night ratings.
My question is, why are the head honchos at NBC still employed after all this?