Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Conan: Stick That Time Slot Up Your (gasp!)

In the spirit of the battle between Conan and Jay Leno, it's time to consider the life-span of talk shows. Remember the awful "Dennis Miller Show"? Or "The Magic Show" featuring once-famous basketball star, Magic Johnson? Let's not forget that the winner of celebrity apprentice also was a loser when she hosted the short-lived "Late Night Show with Joan Rivers". Arsenio Hall had a run at a talk show, as did Chevy Chase, Pat Sajek, Rosie O'Donnel and even Keenan Ivory Wayans. And you know what? They all failed.

But what's different about this battle is that Conan and Jay Leno are not fighting over a new start-up--this is over a piece of history. "The Late Show" has been on for over 60 years and has always aired immediately after the 11 o'clock news. Pushing it back to a time slot of 12:05 will dramatically change its audience and will effectively push away the people who have grown to love what the show delivers.

I fully support Conan's stance on the issue, and I hope NBC listens to him and the viewers.

"I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction," he said in a blistering attack on the network's execs. "I worked long and hard to get that opportunity, passed up far more lucrative offers, and since 2004, I have spent literally hundreds of hours thinking of ways to extend the franchise long into the future," he wrote. "My hope is that NBC and I can resolve this quickly so that my staff, crew and I can do a show we can be proud of, for a company that values our work."

Well-spoken, and you gotta give the man credit for sticking by what he has worked towards for so many years.