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Leno - Conan - NBC Saga

Discussion in 'TV Show Talk' started by cj9788, Jan 10, 2010.

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  1. bicker1

    bicker1 Hall Of Fame

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    Do you have children? If so, have you ever had one ask you "why?" about something for which the question "why?" was really not relevant -- something for which no answer would apply? I respect, though, that such questions are often driven by feelings rather than rational inquiry. "Why couldn't the veterinarian make Rover better?" That question comes from someplace deep inside, not from the rational brain, and we really don't expect any answer is going to make our child feel better about losing their constant canine companion.

    If NBC continues to hire the best talent in the business, then yes, they're going to continue to have situations where two great talents both want the same job, and there will be a sticky situation as the network determines how to try to determine how to extract the best from (and deprive their competitors from stealing away) the assets that NBC itself worked so hard to find and cultivate. Again, the only way to avoid this situation is to hire crappier talent.

    George Santayana also said, "Life is not a spectacle or a feast; it is a predicament," and, "Periods of tranquility are seldom prolific of creative achievement. Mankind has to be stirred up." By this he means that not everything has a neat and easy answer, that life itself is a never-ending challenge. Where you don't see situations like this one that NBC just got through, you see the lack of life, the lack of vitality, the lack of advancement. It is only through risk and conflict that we can achieve something better than the lifeless status quo.

    [BTW, if you're in Eastern Mass., and would like to participate in a small-group, spiritual discussion themed around George Santayana's perspectives on skepticism, please let me know: I'll be leading the session in early March, and would need to get permission from other members of my group to invite outsiders.]

    You also don't have to be that old to be aware that the other networks would have been fortunate to have such problems. Again, what you're referring to is the natural result of NBC having an embarrassment of riches, that its competitors were never blessed with.

    "If you expect perfection from other people, your whole life is a series of disappointments, grumbling and complaints." - Bruce Barton
     
  2. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    As confusing as anything to me is... that they appear (at least by my EPG) to be running Conan repeats every night, while still running new Leno at 10pm.

    Why would NBC not already be running Leno in the 11:35 timeslot? They already kicked Conan to the Curb, and the 10pm Leno show is already a failure.... it seems to me they'd be better off running Leno's current show at 11:35 until they move him officially back to the Tonight Show digs... then run repeats of any other NBC show (one of the Law & Orders, or something from Universal or something) at the 10pm slot.

    I'm confused at why they would let Conan go "early" and then not make any changes to what they are airing each night.
     
  3. jeffshoaf

    jeffshoaf Icon

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    Nope.. It's clear that regardless of what anyone says, you're either going to twist it around to match your point of view, insist that others' viewpoints and opinions are invalid due to being from a personal or emotional perspective, or use semantics to try to invalidate others' postings.

    It's also obvious that you're going to insist that corporations can do no wrong and/or should not be held accountable for their decisions even when those decisions are proven to be incorrect.
     
  4. jeffshoaf

    jeffshoaf Icon

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    You don't know my personal preferences and I never said that there is a clearly correct approach in every circumstance. I said that a decision could be a mistake even when it appears that it's the best decision under the circumstances. Based on the complete change in direction NBC is taking regarding the Leno/Conan fiasco, it's pretty obvious that the original decision to put Leno on at 10:00 PM and have Conan take over the Tonight Show was a mistake. It has nothing to do with my personal preferences since I don't watch either of them - I would choose Letterman over either of them and I wouldn't get upset if he were to be canceled since I don't watch him with any regularity.

    Besides that, just because an opinion is based on personal preferences or biases does not make it incorrect.

    The affiliates had leverage even before the uncompleted Comcast acquisition (an argument could be made that the Comcast gives the affiliates less leverage, but that's a different topic). As someone else posted, the very nature of "free" broadcast TV and the licenses granting the affiliates use of the public bandwidth gives the affiliates leverage.
     
  5. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Northern...
    That sounds stimulating. But I'm in Mendocino County, California, and don't travel much any more. If it weren't for forums like this, my interaction with people who have a variety of views would be very limited.
    My question "Why?" to NBC execs is really a much longer question that is in the class of "You dropped your iPod in the pool again? Why?" It isn't an inquiry, more of a suggestion to explore why the lessons of past bad experiences didn't overcome the distractions and overconfidence.

    I always felt that the GE management training program did a pretty good job of teaching decision-making using information from a "big picture" point of view while focusing on a specific problem. We'll never know if the original decision to move Conan into the "Tonight Show" host chair would ultimately proved to have been a good decision in the long run. In the context of a changing environment and the need to appeal to an audience with a 21st Century focus, at the time it seemed to me to be a good decision.

    For whatever reason, it seemed to me that someone lost sight of the big picture and started worrying too much about Leno going somewhere else. Because I'm not privy to the inner workings at NBC's executive offices, I don't know how this happened but I think it was second guessing a well-thought-out decision.

    In 2007 I wrote in my blog "Yes, that ad supported NBC channel you watch now may degenerate into only news, sports, and televaudeville." But I didn't anticipate the change would start in the 10 pm slot with Leno. "American Idol" is an 8 pm show and that was what I was thinking about, not Leno. Still, in April I wrote: "Co-chairman of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios Ben Silverman says it will be far more of a comedy show than The Tonight Show." I don't think Silverman's understanding is what happened, but he's out now.

    As I noted in that April post: "After it became apparent that under Ben Silverman tenure as head of programming the network's ratings crashed, in January 2009 Zucker brought in Angela Bromstad to be NBC's chief programmer of dramas and comedies."

    So we'll see what happens next fall after she's had sufficient time to rebuild under a 3-hour prime time schedule. This article has given me some hope.
     
  6. SledgeHammer

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    I don't see what the hub-bub is about. The ratings are the bottom line.

    Leno's ratings @ 11:35pm (which were awesome for the 11:35pm time slot) EQUALED his ratings at 10pm (which were not awesome for the 10:00pm time slot).

    Conan got better ratings @ 11:35pm then he did at 12:35pm. Obviously because of the better time slot and the better name value of the show. HOWEVER, his ratings were HALF of what Jay was banging. He was also getting pwned by Letterman on a nightly basis while Jay was pwning Letterman on a nightly basis for the past 12yrs or whatever.

    I personally don't find Conan's humor at all funny. Hes a guy in his 30 - 40's acting like hes still a frat boy. I'm 34 by the way. Maybe if I was 20 I'd find Conan funnier, but...

    Bottom line is:

    1) Conan's ratings @ 11:35pm weren't there
    2) Jay's ratings @ 10pm weren't there.
    3) 10pm to 2am worth of talk shows didn't work

    They offered to move Conan back 30mins and he cried and took his ball and went home.

    Personally, I'll agree that you don't want to move the Tonight Show around, cuz the name/time value is there.

    Conan came off like a cry baby.

    I'm pretty sure that if Jay moving back to 11:35pm delivers Conan ratings, he won't be around in 7 months either.

    But I have a feeling that Jay will return to dominating fairly rapidly :).

    Yeah, we'll see Conan again in the fall. Probably on FOX or whatever going up against Leno and Letterman @ 11:35pm.

    And I'm pretty sure he'll get cancelled in 7 months or less going up against the 2 kings.

    Conan seems to have a very inflated self-worth that he has hasn't earned yet.
     
  7. raoul5788

    raoul5788 Guest

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    I don't think Conan came off as a cry baby in the least. I saw him as standing up for himself. I saw Leno as being the baby. He agreed originally to give up his spot to Conan, in fact, he endorsed him for it. Now he wants it back. Who is the baby here? JMHO, of course.
     
  8. SledgeHammer

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    Yeah, Conan stood up for himself, but he still failed @ 11:35pm.

    Leno did *NOT* agree to give up The Tonight Show.

    NBC *fired* him 4 or 5 yrs ago or whenever that was, cuz they were afraid of Conan jumping ship and needed something to keep him @ NBC. Jay was being a professional / team player when he endorsed Conan. Jay wanted to go to FOX @ 11:35pm after the firing, but instead NBC gave him the 10pm slot to keep him at NBC.

    The whole "I'm gonna retire" thing was a cover for the firing, cuz again, Jay was being professional and didn't want to screw Conan or the Tonight Show.

    BTW, this is well known fact now. That Jay was fired / told to step down 4 or 5 years ago to keep Conan @ NBC.

    Also, he didn't *take* his show back... The new setup didn't work and NBC wanted to keep everybody at NBC but Conan middle-fingered them. So they said fine and gave the show back to Jay.

    Anybody who still thinks Jay "retired" and then changed his mind and forcibly took the Tonight Show back needs to get the facts straight :).
     
  9. bicker1

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    Given that we disagree, it would be idiocy to expect me to see you post something and say, "Well golly, everything I believe is wrong." I disagree with you. Everything you say, therefore, in support of the position I disagree with, will be incorrect as far as I am concern. If you expect anything different, then you don't understand the fundamental nature of disagreement.

    If you post something that supports what I believe is fact, even if you didn't intend to support my position, then I will highlight that, because perhaps it will help you understand better why I believe I'm correct and you're incorrect. Using the bits of truth that I can count on you accepting, because you yourself expressed them, is a great tool for making my point, because half the challenge is obviated by the fact that you yourself is the source of the fact I'm highlighting.

    That's incredibly self-serving yet still vacuous. You haven't proven anything about the decisions. You continue to lamely claim that the negative results imply that the decisions were in error, despite how clearly and comprehensively I explained that that's not logical. I know you want NBC to be cast in some ridiculously malevolent light, but don't expect an unrebutted soap-box for the unsupported (and admittedly, unsupportable) assertions you're making.
     
  10. bicker1

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    They're painfully evident from your rhetoric.

    I appreciate you granting that point.

    Why cannot you admit that you cannot know whether this specific decision was a mistake, given the circumstances?

    Again; your logic fails. I seriously hope you don't need me to diagram the logic out to show you that you are engaging in fallacy.

    The personal preference could stem from simple animosity toward NBC, its managers, and/or business in general. Given that you're insisting on what you're insisting, consistently without your rhetoric constituting a logical argument, I can only conclude that there is some manner of personal preference driving you to support the position you're supporting.

    Opinions aren't correct or incorrect. They're just preferences.

    First, the affiliates didn't have the leverage that the Comcast acquisition gives them. Your assertion that the acquisition actually reduces the leverage that the affiliates have in this context is so ridiculous that I would consider it nothing but trolling at this point.

    Something which they had and would have regardless of the acquisition. The acquisition provides the affiliates additional leverage.
     
  11. bicker1

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    Why, though, are you unwilling to accept that great advantages can lead to difficult choices? Why do you insist on believing that only bad choices lead to difficult choices?

    More importantly, there was absolutely no way to know it back then.

    And this is why this is an important discussion: If you don't allow people to take risks that don't pay off, the result will invariably be dreary stagnation. And by insisting that failure implies that mistakes were made, that's exactly what some folks (Jeff, in particular, in this thread) are doing.
     
  12. drded

    drded Godfather

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    After reading pages and pages all I can say is bicker1 is a screen name well chosen.

    Dave
     
  13. jeffshoaf

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    I asserted that before, but it turns out that it's based on his actual surname.

    I keep telling myself that I will never respond to him again, but I keep letting myself get dragged back in. He will probably see that as me agreeing that he has a superior command of logic and a deeper understanding of the world and everything in than I do, even though it's because it's pointless to debate him - he seems to be more intent on repeating his assertions over and over and over without even considering that he could be mistaken. If we took a poll here and the vast majority of posters disagreed with his position, he would state that the vote was not valid since it was basically a popularity contest and that all the voters' votes were invalid since the votes were based on opinion and personal preferences. He might even flog the voters for feeling entitled to vote since they obviously had not properly researched the subject - after all, if they had researched the subject, they could not fail to logically reach the same conclusion as he. ;)
     
  14. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Northern...
    I don't know where you get the idea that I don't know that advantages can lead to difficult choices. Life is full of difficult choices.

    It's my belief that one must have to have successes to make the toiling worthwhile. To only fail would be a sad way to live. IMHO the wisdom that comes from failure is found in understanding what failed leading to better decision-making processes which might lead to success.

    In the end, the failures in the Tonight Show kerfluffles have been the inability to manage competing very large egos. Maybe when Leno retires next time, NBC will have found a management method for this problem - that would be a surprising success assuming I live to see it.;)
     
  15. jeffshoaf

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    You're making the assumption that fear of making a mistake will prevent people from taking risks. I don't see how that is any more likely than the fear of failure would prevent the same people from taking risks.

    If we do not admit that there were mistakes, how do we learn and not make the same mistake again? If a decision leads to failure and the decision was not a mistake, what prevents us from making the same decision in similar circumstances? Or are we to assume that the same decision in a similar circumstance will lead to a different result?

    Do you believe that executives should not be held accountable for their decisions that fail? How about front-line employees?

    I agree that businesses and employees have to take prudent risks, but I also believe that they have to be held accountable for the failures. By refusing to call a decision leading to failure a "mistake," we run the risk of freeing people from taking responsibility for their decisions.

    It seems that you're just playing semantic games; do you believe that calling the decision that lead to a "mistake" will prevent others from taking risks? If so, that just seems silly (yes, in my opinion), similar to companies insisting that they have "issues" instead of "problems."

    No, I don't believe that someone should be fired for making a mistake; of course, if I made a mistake that cost my employer to lose 30 or 40 million dollars, I'd expect to be fired!
     
  16. jeffshoaf

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    You know, I've just re-read this three times. You accuse me of not being logical and not proving my statements, but you do nothing to prove yours - you basically say "nuh-uh" every time I say "uh-huh."

    To answer one specific point, I see the Comcast acquisition as reducing the leverage of the affiliates simply because Comcast has an alternative distribution channel for NBC's offerings - Comcast doesn't need the affiliates.

    So, how does the Comcast acquisition give the affiliates additional leverage?

    Speaking of trolling, I can't see your opinion of my saying that the decision that lead to the current Leno/Conan fiasco as a mistake as a sign that I have a personal preference in the matter as anything but trolling. The same goes for your description of my postings as "rhetoric."

    Why don't you post a logic chart demonstrating how this decision wasn't a mistake? Why can't you admit that the decision was a mistake?
     
  17. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    WOW...this thread has sure turned into a ton of DRAMA concerning two basically COMEDY shows and COMEDIANS. :eek2:
     
  18. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Friendly reminder time... this thread is not about the posters on the forum... but rather about Leno, Conan, and NBC. Please refrain from insulting each other.
     
  19. bicker1

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    Pot, kettle, black.

    More self-serving clap-trap: Are you really suggesting that the reality, which is what I'm presenting, should be a reflection of what most people like, instead of the actuality? Utterly ridiculous.

    There are a lot of fans here, people who choose to see things through a viewer's bias. I'm perhaps one of a few who are willing and able to present the balanced perspective, including both the viewers' perspective and the business' perspective. You aren't justified in expecting other people to do so; each person can decide for themselves whether they want to be biased or balanced... you don't get to dictate that for others.

    Your continued personal attacks on me just show how desperate you are to defend your baseless assertions. I'll ask you to please stop and just focus on the subject-matter issues, but I get the impression that such a request will fall on deaf ears.
     
  20. jeffshoaf

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    Thank you for proving my point.
     
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