Television’s Biggest Scandal: Leno vs. O’Brien

Disputes between time slots of the Jay Leno show and the Conan O’Brien show may result in O’Brien’s leaving the NBC network

On Thursday, January 7th, 2010 NBC met with two of television’s comedians–Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien–to negotiate an agreement in which Leno would be moved back to a late night spot after receiving poor ratings during the prime time slot.  O’Brien, who was host of The Tonight Show, would be moved to a slot at 12:05 A.M while Jay Leno would host a half hour show at 11:35 p.m.

Conan released a statement on January 12th regarding the shift in his time slot.  He said, “I sincerely believe that delaying The Tonight Show into the next day to accommodate another comedy program will seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting.  The Tonight Show at 12:05 simply isn’t The Tonight Show.”  The T.V. scandal has spurred a series of jokes from both Leno and Conan toward the network, “This weekend a 6.5 earthquake hit California,” said Conan.  “The earthquake was so powerful it knocked Jay Leno’s show from 10 P.M to 11:35.”  Although NBC’s decision on what to do with Leno and O’Brien will likely change one of their careers for the worst, neither comedian have expressed negativity toward each other.  Leno said, “This is all business.  If you don’t get the ratings, they take you off the air…”

It still remains to be seen whether Conan will stick with NBC, where he earned his original big break, or whether he will move on to Fox entertainment.  It has been reported that O’Brien could get up to $40 million dollars and be eligible to return his show on another network in one year.