Saturday, April 11, 2009

NBC = Not Being Consistent?

Hey NBC, get your guys on the same page, would you?  

On Friday, the NY Times, ran a story on an upcoming live comedy show for their potential advertisers, featuring Jay Leno, along with other NBC late-night and prime time  stars.  

A big part of the idea is apparently to showcase Mr. Leno's comedic appeal in advance of his taking over NBC's third prime time hour each weeknight starting this fall.  The need to showcase Mr. Leno at all is in itself a bit mystifying, given that he's hosted the #1 late-night talk show for well over a decade now.  But okay, then.

What's truly curious in this article begins with this passage:
Ben Silverman, the co-chairman of NBC Entertainment, said in a telephone interview that the network has high expectations for Mr. Leno’s performance in the fall. “This is going to be a comedy show,” Mr. Silverman said, suggesting that the prime-time program will be significantly more humorous than Mr. Leno’s current work on “The Tonight Show.”
Wow.  So during all these years, from Leno's monologues to his "desk bits," to his "Jay-Walking" films-- through all that, it's NBC's position that Mr. Leno's "Tonight Show" hasn't been very funny?

No, no, no, I'm being too persnickety here.  That couldn't be NBC's official position, right?  Silverman must have meant that Leno was going to be less concerned with real interviews and just "go for the laughs."

Guess not:
A difference viewers may see, said Mike Pilot*, the president of advertising sales for NBC, will be “more newsmakers as guests” as opposed to the heavy quotient of entertainers who appear on the late-night shows.
Right, nothing says "rollickin' comedy" like interviews with politicians and other personalities from the news.  Exactly how is Mr. Leno going to have a "more humorous" show with less humorous guests?  (And if the plan is to make the guests the butt of Mr. Leno's jokes, that guest list could dry up quickly.)

Does NBC have any idea of what they're saying?  Or more to the point, does NBC have any idea of what kind of show they're putting on?

(*By the way, with a name like Mike Pilot, that guy should be in program development, not ad sales.)

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