Has your opinion of Jay Leno changed at all?

During the recent Jay Leno VS. Conan O'Brian VS. NBC debacle, Jay Leno's public image has taken quite a beating when you consider that only a short time before, he was thought to be one of the nicest talk show hosts out there. Has the recent problems at NBC made you look at NBC any differently than before?
I really don't think Conan made that big of a deal, considering he was the one that walked away the loser in a generally unfair situation. Sure NBC gave him a ton of bribe money to walk in the end, but that doesn't change how depressing and humiliating it must have been for him to get screwed before he was even on his show a full year!


But there was one truth they could not spin, one fact that no amount of buzz could overcome. And it is the sole reason why Conan O’Brien is heading to cable: His television audience isn’t big enough for a major late-night slot in broadcast television given the current economics of the daypart. And it is for that reason— and only that reason—that O’Brien will debut on TBS this fall, and not on Fox or ABC.
The Reason Conan Really Went to TBS - 2010-04-19 04:01:00 | Broadcasting & Cable


, Blogger: Orry's Orations
Definitely. I have lost all respect for the man. I wasn't a fan, but I did have a certain image of him. That's been shot down, and I won't even turn on The Tonight Show now. My understanding is that Leno has taken a big hit in the 'like' department.


I think that that would be inevitable, given how liked he was, and given how the media loves to take powerful figures down -- that sells newspapers, gets ratings for gossip shows, etc.


, Blogger: Orry's Orations
The media didn't take Leno down; Leno took Leno down. He made a deal; he should have stuck to it. He hung Conan out to dry, and everyone knows it. It was totally calculated on his part. His problem is that this time a lot of people noticed.


, Blogger: Orry's Orations
I haven't been a big fan of The Tonight Show since Johnny Carson retired anyway, but sometimes I'd tune in for Leno's Headlines or something, but no more. I just have no desire to look at Leno anymore.


I only have been watching these two talk show recently, and I found both to be pleasing and amusing. You cannot tell based on their demeanor that their was something going on between them.
I feel that Jay Leno turned the whole situation into a circus by first saying he'd be leaving the show, then deciding to not retire but instead start a new television show, and THEN going back to the show he was supposedly done with.

While it's true that Conan's show wasn't a huge success, it was still new and I don't feel he was given nearly enough time to catch on.

Maybe he never would have caught on, or maybe he would have once he was in there a while?

We'll never know now, but it is worth noting that Late Night with David Letterman was beating the tar out of Leno's ratings for the first few years of the show, but eventually the tables turned in Leno's favor.


Super Moderator
You can read back other threads and I though it would be some kind of disaster moving Leno to 10 pm. I have to say it turned out many times worse than I could have imagined. I was not a Leno fan like Orry either, but had a certain respect, which is now gone. It actually soured me from all the network talk shows. WUFT here shows Travis Smiley at 11:30, then Charlie Rose at 12 midnight, which since the Leno thing, I found more informative and entertaining than even the CBS duo I had watched in that time slot for years (Letterman/Ferguson)
The thing is that Jay Leno had already taken something of a beating for his manipulations of the Tonight Show to get the hosting nod over David Letterman, but people largely forgave and forgot after a while, and began to think of Jay as a nice friendly guy and as a good host. But now I don't think people will be quite as quick to forget how he screwed over and backstabbed Conan.

David Letterman never forgot his slight, Conan is unlikely to either, and now neither will a lot of television viewers.
I don't know if people are going to forget it so much as just try to look past it, and enjoy Jay's show as much as they did in the past based off the strength of guests, popular features, and just the overall familiarity with the show that will keep longtime viewers coming back for more.

The only difference will be that Jay himself is going to be viewed in a less favorable light, but nobody ever said you needed to like the baker in order to enjoy the cake.


I think even that animosity will be held by only a very small number of people. I think the vast majority of people are reasonable, and see things as they are, i.e., that television is a business, that no one is owed anything that they don't gain through achievement of financial goals. Most viewers don't care about the whole Leno/O'Brien thing and therefore will view Leno simply as a comedian, and will judge him each day, as they've done for decades, based on how funny his is that night.


, Blogger: Orry's Orations
I disagree. I think Leno is very worried about how he's perceived now. He isn't that friendly guy on TV anymore. It's not a small view. I see way too many discussions ongoing about it, and as long as it's being talked about, it's still out there ... and wait until Conan's new show hits the air. That will start it up again, too.
I don't think Leno's show will start to fail just because of public opinion of the man, but I do think he is quite likely to lose at least a few handfull of viewers because of it, but networks rarely care about the audience they lose, as long as they have plenty of other viewers to make up for it.

Like him or hate him, I doubt Jay Leno's going to be going anywhere for a while yet.

Conan's show is going to be on TBS and will likely be popular among his core audience, but it remains to be seen if he'll have a larger audience than Late Night With Conan O'brian did.


Indeed. Leno may or may not succeed in the years to come, but it won't have any thing to do with that minuscule portion of the audience that actually harbor hatred for the guy. Most folks understand that it was all just business, just like when Carson left.
I do think that the Carson situation DID have a noticeable effect on the ratings for the first few years of the Jay Leno hosted tonight show, and that's one of the reasons that Letterman's Late Show consistently turned in better ratings for the first few years, although eventually Leno would overtake Letterman's ratings and has continued to more or less do so since then.

Because Conan is going to cable, I think the impact on Leno's ratings will not have as profound of an impact as Letterman does...but there will probably still be a few people who quit watching over it.