Saturday, January 09, 2010

Three TV Thoughts

First, President Obama is postponing his first State of the Union speech because of...the season premiere of "Lost". I think I now have all the evidence I need that the U.S. is a truly batshit country.

Second, check out this scathing piece in Slate on NBC's decision to revamp its late night schedule five months after it last changed it. Quick summary: a few years ago, NBC made plans to phase out Jay Leno of the Tonight Show in the coveted 11:30 p.m. slot, and give it to Conan. But instead of retiring Leno, they tried to have it both ways, by moving
him up one hour too -- to 10pm, when he'd be against regular shows, rather than late night talk shows. NBC hoped to have the best of both worlds: have Conan be competitive against Letterman at 11:30, and have Leno be a cheaper and more profitable show relative to the competition at 10.

Well, that's how it worked out, except exactly the opposite. Conan is losing to Letterman, and Leno is proving highly unpopular at the new slot (getting beaten by reruns of CSI:Miami for the love of God), so much so that local NBC affiliates are complaining that he provides sucky lead-in ratings for their news shows. So now NBC is taking yet more half-measures: moving Leno
back to 11:30, but only for a half-hour show, and having Conan move to midnight. Conan, for obvious reason, is pissed: he was promised the Tonight Show, and now appears that he will have the show, just not at the time he thought it would be. As Bill Simmons said in a tweet, "If I were Conan O'Brien, I would have the Masturbating Bear as my only guest for an hour every night until NBC fired me."

Third, I just watched a re-run of an old South Park episode. I had forgotten about this clip, but it's pure genius. As is Cartman. An evil genius to be sure, but a genius nonetheless.


12 comments:

Bubs said...

Yet another sign that Obama is willing to negotiate with extremists who are unwilling to bend from their intractable stance. Can't wait for Feb 2nd.

AKS said...

Conan should move to Comedy Central. He'll fit right in. And it will make it easier for people who don't live in the U.S. or mostly watch stuff online to follow him.

Indophile said...

But Conan and his sidekick is so boring that ideally they should not be given any slot, or maybe, a 3 AM slot.

AKS said...

Indophile, really? I've not been following Conan of late, but I've always enjoyed his quirky sense of humour. He's also not a celebrity suck up like Leno.

Perhaps he's had to tone down his act for the Tonight Show? A few people have mentioned that Conan is far better suited to cable.

If NBC had balls they would dump Leno, ease out Conan (perhaps to a Comcast cable affiliate) and hire Jonathan Ross who's leaving the BBC.

Indophile said...

I was particularly irritated by his sidekick Andy, and most of time Conan appears to be trying so hard that it was not funny at all. This was the review of the first day -http://www.nj.com/entertainment/tv/index.ssf/2009/06/conan_obriens_tonight_show_deb.html (read the comments) - things have remain more or less same

takhalus said...

that south park clip is some sick stuff dude!

scriptkiddie said...

I say both Leno and Conan are boring as hell. Craig Ferguson does it for me - highly recommended.

Ahsan said...

I think Conan used to be funnier on Late Night. I don't know why he felt the need to get this side kick dude, who's very annoying.

Between Conan and Leno, there is no comparison. But unfortunately, Conan's ratings with the Tonight Show are lower than Leno's. I agree that Conan might be better off on cable -- can you imagine a 2 hour line up of Conan, followed by Jon Stewart and Colbert? They'd kill the competition.

Brett said...

That "Masturbating Bear" comment made me laugh so hard I could barely breath for a couple of minutes.

Naqiya said...

http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2010/01/wow_conan_wont_do_the_tonight.html

conan's letter to the world saying he wont do the show if the time changes. he also apologizes for his hair which is sweet.

Michael Collins said...

Excellent analysis! Obama blew it with "Lost." He shouldn't defer the speech. Just post it on the internet right after he does a well publicized guest appearance on the show. He could come on and explain the damn plot (which seems more trouble than it's worth).

The real tragedy of Leno (other than having to watch him for more than a minute or so) is this. NBC knocked out the various "Law and Order" series. Even those who watched little TV could tune in around 10pm every night and watch good guys (not far from the real thing in NYC) put truly bad guys in jail and pretend that we still have some degree of justice and equity in our legal system. But that notion is better portrayed on "Fantasy Island."

Most of us are too busy to watch much TV. We're working overtime or two jobs just to make sure that the failed Wall Street crooks get their full bonuses courtesy of the United States Treasury.

Cheers

shah said...

USA is a batshit country? Then what are the mentally retarded muslims who blow them selves up for their batshit religion?!