Re: The Late Night Champion NEWS
- From: schizobeck <schizobeck@xxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2008 08:08:27 -0700 (PDT)
On Mar 27, 11:07 pm, "K2NNJ" <k2...@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Letterman is running out of things to say to guests, and cannot seem to read
from a cue card anymore. He really needs to consider retirement.
Especially with his extreme anti-bush comments.
"REGACIO" <rega...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
The late-night champion
Jay Leno is no longer a lame duck, says Bill Carter.
THE Jay Leno chase is on. Four years ago, NBC made the comedian the
lame-duck host of The Tonight Show, announcing with fanfare that he
would be succeeded by Conan O'Brien in 2009.
Today, Leno is still the champion of late-night ratings in the US,
with no apparent desire to do anything but continue on top. "What I
do," he has said on several occasions to colleagues, "is tell jokes at
11.30 at night."
And so, nearly two years before he can officially be courted, suitors
including two networks, ABC and Fox, and at least one television
studio, Sony Pictures Television, are beginning to circle, doing
everything they legally can to make sure Leno knows they will make it
possible for him to continue doing just that.
Senior executives at ABC and Fox said their networks had discreetly
got the message to Leno that they were waiting eagerly for the time
they could make official overtures.
NBC Universal has repeatedly expressed its intention to retain Leno
with an undisclosed plan for a new program.
Sony Pictures Television has let Leno know that as soon as he is
allowed to discuss his next move, the studio will make him a rich
offer for a syndicated late-night show that would make him late-night
TV's highest-paid host, put his name on a new theatre on the Sony lot
and give him a financial interest in Sony music artists who appear on
Executives who have heard the details said the move was Sony's effort
to plant a flag in the ground, knowing how intense the pursuit of Leno
was likely to be in coming months.
In a series of interviews, executives on several sides of the
courtship of Leno outlined possible plans for his future.
Executives who know the details of his contract said Leno would remain
attached to NBC through the end of next year, even though he probably
would not be on the air for the last six months of the contract.
Leno's contract is estimated to pay him about $US25 million ($A26.9
million) a year -- less than David Letterman's, which pays him more
than $US30 million.
"Jay will, of course, honour his contract obligations to NBC," said
Kenneth Ziffren, Leno's lawyer. "Jay isn't talking to anyone about
anything and won't be until it's contractually proper."
The Tonight Show earns an estimated $US100 million a year.
Leno, who turns 58 in April, has kept his post-Tonight career plans to
himself. His friends and associates have speculated that he could be
looking for a way to make NBC regret asking him to make way for
O'Brien -- though Leno publicly has been nothing but supportive of
As a guest last month on another late-night show, Jimmy Kimmel Live on
ABC, Leno declared his intention to go through with the move,
countering rampant speculation that NBC might reconsider at the last
minute and ask Leno to stay on at Tonight.
But NBC executives, including the chief executive of NBC Universal,
Jeff Zucker, have reaffirmed their commitment to O'Brien. And if they
did change their minds, they would owe O'Brien a penalty payment: an
estimated $US45 million.
Several of those trying to guess Leno's next move suggested that
motivation would be one of many reasons why ABC has the best chance to
land him. That network could abandon its Nightline news program at
11.35pm to give Leno a show that could go directly against Tonight.
Fox, in contrast, would offer him an 11pm slot. Executives at Fox,
though, say that network's pitch to Leno will use its recent prime-
time dominance as a selling point.
Executives at ABC say the network will stress its line-up of prime-
time hits as well as the lead-in power of the late local news on its
stations. If Leno prefers a face-to-face network battle with NBC, that
could make it difficult for Sony Pictures Television or any other
syndicator to beat network offers, executives say.
But those who know the details of Sony's plan say that by 2010, when
Leno would finally return to broadcast, networks will be further
diminished as viewers get their programming from more sources.
Sony also has the backing of its chief executive, Howard Stringer,
who, when he held a similar position at CBS, was in the middle of the
last late-night round robin, wooing Leno with a vintage motorcycle,
which led to NBC's decision to commit to him over Letterman -- which in
turn led to Stringer's landing Letterman for CBS.
The president of Sony Television, Steve Mosko, declined to comment.
But executives who know the details of Sony's plans said it intended
to throw a multitude of proposals at Leno.
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno screens weeknights at 11pm on the
NEW YORK TIMES- Hide quoted text -
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ahhh, another masturbator for Leno... how sweet
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