March 2, 2010 |
Dick Cheney jokes, George Bush jokes, Cheerios jokes and a "new bit" entitled "How Boring Is Alan Greenspan?": Jay Leno is back on late-night, looking happier and more self-confident than he has in months. (It takes a confident man to introduce the word "boring," not to mention Alan Greenspan, five minutes into an opening monologue.) And why not? As he has made clear through recent self-pitying interviews and the foot-dragging "The Jay Leno Show," he never wanted to leave "The Tonight Show" in the first place.
January 23, 2010 |
Every high school in America has its cool kids, the smart, snarky ones who sit in the prow of culture, and its dorks, the plodding if amiable ones who sit in the middle of the boat and try not to make waves. One needs to be reminded of this in assessing what was really at stake in the headline-making Leno-O'Brien war that ended Thursday with an agreement to pay $45 million to O'Brien and his staff. Celebrities and critics are still taking sides -- the younger, hipper ones decrying how shabbily NBC had treated poor Conan; the older, statelier ones backing Leno -- giving us a clear demonstration of just how much this was a function not so much of money or ratings but of demographics.
January 9, 2010 |
Jeff Zucker was a fearless news producer and fast-rising entertainment executive who was just 41 when he became head of NBC Universal. But in the last few years, the onetime whiz kid behind the "Today" show -- he turned Katie Couric into a star -- has made several costly miscalculations that have led to a spectacular fall by the country's premier television network. Zucker's troubles were magnified this week when, with NBC facing a revolt by affiliate stations furious over their sinking ratings, he decided to move Jay Leno back to late night after less than four months.
September 19, 2012 |
Steve Nash began his first appearance on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" on Tuesday night with self deprecation. "I'm Steve," he says, as if Lakers fans don't know already. "I'm from Canada. I can't sing. I don't like music or make hit records. What's most disappointing is I can't bake. " Nash then continued by allowing Leno to rib him about a young Phoenix Suns fan crying because Nash signed a three-year, $27-million deal with the team's division rival.
January 19, 2010 |
After days of being portrayed as the bad guy, Jay Leno came out swinging on his show Monday and provided a detailed chronology of NBC's bumbling behind-the-scenes maneuvers that sparked the talk-show host tug-of-war engulfing the network. In an unusual departure from his typical banter, Leno described how NBC several years ago concocted a plan to push him out while he was still No. 1. He said he was skeptical that NBC's solution of a prime-time show would work. It "didn't seem like a good idea at the time," he said, though he ultimately went along.
January 9, 2010 |
For a critic, a television viewer and a human being, the reports that "The Jay Leno Show" will soon be but an unpleasant memory, with Leno returning to the 11:30 spot, are nothing short of a belated Christmas present. Any hope that NBC's experiment with putting Leno on at 10 p.m. every blessed day would re-imagine, revitalize or even mildly contribute to television was quickly dashed. Leno does one thing very well, and that is host a late-night show. The news that he will soon be safely doing just that not only opens the 10 o'clock spot for the great dramas that were once the hallmark of NBC, it also indicates that something resembling sanity has returned to the network.