Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Leno puts equal blame on O'Brien for NBC Shift

Critics of the Late Night "debacle" on NBC declare that Jay Leno's failure in ratings underlie his switch back to "The Tonight Show" and for Conan O'Brien's $30 million payoff and departure from his 7-month gig. According to Leno, however, O'Brien's ratings were at a record low, suggesting that O'Brien played an equal part in NBC's recent chaos.

Leno cited his feelings on the matter during a recent episode of "The Jay Leno Show," which currently airs at 10 p.m. on NBC. The Late Night veteran said, "You get ratings, they [the network] keep you. I wasn’t getting the ratings, he [O'Brien] wasn’t getting ‘em, that was NBC’s solution.”**

The host said he was not clear on whether he would be hosting "The Tonight Show" or his own show at 11:30, possibly starting next week, but he said to his audience, "We might have an answer for you tomorrow.”**

Of O'Brien, Leno said: "Through all of this, Conan O’Brien has been a gentleman. He’s a good guy. I have no animosity towards him."**

Bill Simmons of ESPN tweeted last week that O'Brien's last night as host of "The Tonight Show" is January 22. The current staff is working relentlessly to book "big guests" for O'Brien, including "Inglourious Basterds" director Quentin Tarantino, whom is scheduled for January 19.***

The Late Night debacle has brought in ratings for both hosts involved, more prevalently for the current "Tonight Show" host. It is reported that O'Brien ratings have risen by 25% in recent weeks. It is O'Brien's hope that he does, indeed, go out with a bang!

**1) http://www.celebrity-gossip.net/celebrities/hollywood/jay-leno-explains-late-night-debacle-214445/
***2) http://twitter.com/therealbasterds
***3) Photo: http://www.slashfilm.com/wp/wp-content/images/zz740b0b87.jpg

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