NBC Late Night Fiasco, CGI Edition

Though I haven’t been staying up late enough to catch much of this last week of The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, I have been  keeping up with the whole debacle every day on the internet.  A proud member of Team Coco, I’ve been hunting down the latest clips every day, and have been greatly amused by Conan’s increasingly insulting monologues.  I’ve also had good fun seeing all the other late night hosts weigh in on the issue, as well as other people completely outside the blast radius (Ricky Gervais had some awesome things to say at the Golden Globes).

One of the best videos I’ve seen (barring Conan’s monologues of course) has been the following video, from the same Chinese TV firm who created the infamous Tiger Woods car crash CGI re-enactment.  Though I can’t understand the audio, I think the visual half of the video speaks for itself:

What, no Pale Force?

Anyway, it’s too bad Conan won’t be doing The Tonight Show for longer.  I always liked him on Late Night, and he seems like a much funnier guy than Tonight’s former (and soon again to be) host, Jay Leno.  Hopefully Conan goes on to something much better and stomps Leno in ratings.  Leno deserves it for not taking the high road and bowing out, and to a greater extent, NBC deserves it for making crappy decisions at the whims of their affiliates.


  1. xot - Over a year ago

    I’m only a casual observer of what’s going on, but I’ve always been a big fan of Conan and I think he is totally getting shafted. He’s right to walk, but it’s unfortunate that he didn’t provide protection for his staff in case this happened.

    The moronity (yes, that’s a word now) of NBC’s placement of Jay Leno’s show boggles. That schedule was built to fail. I’m cynical enough to believe it was planned that way, although I’m not sure what NBC would get out of it. I guess it’s like Heinlein said: never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity. NBC has mismanaged the Tonight Show for almost 20 years now. It’s ironic how they’ve screwed two of their greatest talents by either giving or not giving them the Tonight Show. The way they treated Dave was sickening, and now their doing it to Conesy.

    Grrrrr!! I’m gonna watch “The Late Shift” now and throw popcorn at Kathy Bates.

    1. Martin - Over a year ago

      You know, until all this happened, I was completely ignorant of what had happened between Dave Letterman and NBC. That’s pretty jacked up, and I am glad he landed alright.

      NBC is indeed stupid. If they didn’t have a few good shows in their Thursday lineup I wouldn’t even watch their network.

    2. xot - Over a year ago

      Looks like Conan managed to secure from NBC about a year’s worth of severance for his staff ($12M / 200 staff). Not great considering the circumstances, but better than nothing. I’m glad they are getting something.

  2. T-Bird - Over a year ago

    My mostly made up and based on word of mouth assesment of the situation is this:

    The tonight show is kind of a treasure of the baby boomer generation. Leno with his cheap Photoshop effects, and corny, but cleaner jokes, appealed to the boomers better than Conan. NBC forseeing that they were starting to loose the baby boomers brought in Conan to entice a newer generation to watch the show while giving Jay his own show at an earlier (and thus more boomer accessable) time slot. A good idea in theory, except: a) the Jay Leno show didn’t have the same heritage and appeal for boomers. b) the Jay Leno show was destined to be short lived since J is getting up in years and you can’t bring a new host to the JAY LENO show. c) Conan didn’t draw a crowd as rapidly as NBC had expected.

    NBC shot themselves in the foot by estranging themselves from whatever loyal following they previously had on the gamble that they would gain a new fanbase. However these aren’t primetime shows, and didn’t have the budgets to survive an extended drop in ratings. NBC should have either left good enough alone, or given Conan his own show, with the option of moving into the tonight show at J’s retirement.

    1. Martin - Over a year ago

      Ratings were the name of the game, and I agree, I just don’t think they gave it enough time. There were multiple reasons why the ratings for the two shows, as well as the ratings of the local news shows sandwiched in between, were lower than expected, but I think a lot of the ratings problems would have gotten better over time.

      Ultimately, it was the affiliates (the people who make those new shows) who complained enough to get things changed, but it’s still NBC’s fault for not sticking to its guns, having confidence in Leno / Conan, and keeping things the way they were.

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