Please click here to read my first letter. After reading the weekend's latest news, my anger continued to bubble up and I needed to write another correspondence.
Now, I am not the type of person to write to a television network about something that they did that angered me, such as canceling a show, but what NBC has done to Conan O'Brien and his staff is just plain...well, low is an understatement. Even members of Team Leno are admitting that NBC went too far this time.
I'm not even going to be articulate here. I'm just saying what is coming from my gut, and it ain't pretty.
Since when did you become the JLN--that is, the Jay Leno Network? I can't believe that you are re-arranging your late-night schedule to cater to someone whom many believed was going to retire once his contract with the Tonight Show was up. What's worse, you're catering your entire late-night schedule just for the benefit of one person. ONE PERSON!!!
Even when Jay Leno was shifted to the 10 PM slot, he got as much--if not, more--promotion as he did when he hosted the Tonight Show! The Tonight Show is--or rather, after your current handling of the franchise, was--the gold standard in late-night entertainment. You pushed and pushed and pushed Leno's show as if it were the greatest thing in the digital age. As for Conan, the newest successor to the so-called late night gold standard? Hardly any promotion, compared to the bombardment and overexposure we have received for The Jay Leno Show.
As I wrote in my previous letter, Johnny Carson wanted David Letterman to be his successor. And how do you think Johnny Carson--Johnny Carson!!--felt when his wishes weren't honored? You dissed the most legendary host of late night TV, ever. Way to show your respect, NBC. Mr. Carson had a lot of class, unlike Mr. Leno, who has publicly whined--both in subtle and not-so-subtle ways--about how he was "pushed out" of his 11:35 time slot. Yeah, way to bow out gracefully.
And then there's Jeff Zucker, the man who got you into this whole mess. Does Jay Leno have him wrapped around his whole finger so tightly that he can get Zucker to provide him with someone to hold the tissue while he blows his nose? How is it that Leno's getting whatever the hell he wants?
And what's Zucker's beef with Conan? What the hell did Conan ever do to him? Many are recalling that Leno's ratings after he took over for Carson weren't so great either, at least in the beginning. And of course, there's Conan's story. Yes, he once worked, literally, from week to week, but you stuck with him, NBC, and he did a lot for you. And this latest treatment of him--this is the reward he gets for nearly seventeen years of loyalty?!?!
The logic here is ass-backwards, NBC. Let me get this straight: You're moving Leno back to 11:35 because his prime-time ratings were tanking. You feel this will make your affiliates happy, since the ratings for their 11 PM newscasts were sharply down--a result of the so-called "Leno Effect." So by moving a show that bombed in prime-time an hour and a half later, and half an hour before your esteemed Tonight Show, you feel that this will help? Yes, it may help the 11 PM affiliate newscasts, but how is it going to help Conan? You're setting Mr. O'Brien up to fail, NBC, and that is not fair. You're doing all that you can in your power to get Conan off the air and Leno back into the Tonight Show chair--but seriously, how many people are going to watch Mr. Leno after this fracas? Even his most die-hard fans are rapidly losing respect for him.
You've left me with no choice, NBC. I know this sounds a wee bit dramatic, but a lot of members of Team Conan--and there are a LOT of them--are planning to boycott your network, save for Conan's show. This is not an easy thing for me to do. While most of your schedule--well, I'm using the word "sucks" here because I can't think of a polite way to put it and still articulate my feelings--I get my news from Brian Williams, enjoy the programming offered on the Today Show, and love to watch my girl Tina Fey on 30 Rock.
Speaking of Tina Fey, do you recall what she said in her speech when she accepted the Best Comedy Emmy at the Prime-Time Emmy Awards last year? Allow me to remind you that she thanked you, NBC, for "keeping us on the air even though we're so much more expensive than a talk show."
Tina Fey and the crew at 30 Rock love to mock you. I can't wait to see what they do with this one--oh wait, I won't be watching! I'm boycotting your network! I forgot!
So NBC, let us now sit back and watch you become the first broadcast network to go under. You're already in the toilet; allow me to be one of millions to stand in line and take turns flushing.
35 minutes ago