Entertainment – Conan O’Brien lashes out at NBC over proposed change of show timing
MUMBAI: Talk show host Conan O’Brien is unhappy over US broadcaster NBC’s decision to push his Talk show The Tonight Show to midnight in order to accomodate a Jay Leno show.
In a public statement, O’Brien says that there is the possibility of him not hosting the show. He has accused NBC of trying to destroy the show.
This is what O’Brien had to say in a statement: “After only seven months, with my Tonight Show in its infancy, NBC has decided to react to their terrible difficulties in prime-time by making a change in their long-established late night schedule.
“NBC executives told me that they intended to move the Tonight Show to 12:05 to accommodate the Jay Leno Show at 11:35. For 60 years the Tonight Show has aired immediately following the late local news. 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. Also, if I accept this move I will be knocking the Late Night show, which I inherited from David Letterman and passed on to Jimmy Fallon, out of its long-held time slot. That would hurt the other NBC franchise that I love, and it would be unfair to Jimmy.”
NBC had earlier announced that the Jay Leno Show will have its last prime time run on 12 February 2010. Surprisingly, the show is being pulled off within five months after it started airing.
According to NBC Universal Television Entertainment chairman Jeff Gaspin, the show would be relocated to the 11:35 pm slot and become an half-hour programme with The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien following at 12:05 am and Late Night With Jimmy Fallon at 1:05 am.
O’Brien in his statement goes on to say that he cannot express in words how much he enjoys hosting this programme and what an enormous personal disappointment it is to consider losing it. “My staff and I have worked unbelievably hard and we are very proud of our contribution to the legacy of The Tonight Show. But I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction. Some people will make the argument that with DVRs and the Internet a time slot doesn’t matter. But with the Tonight Show, I believe nothing could matter more.
“There has been speculation about my going to another network but, to set the record straight, I currently have no other offer and honestly have no idea what happens next. My hope is that NBC and I can resolve this quickly so that my staff, crew, and I can do a show we can be proud of, for a company that values our work.”
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