Oprah: The Tonight Show Fiasco

Jay Leno sits down with the big O to discuss the changes at NBC that saw Conan O'Brien exit The Tonight Show.

Monday afternoon will be a busy time with an interesting episode of Oprah going up against Nine’s live Oscars.

Jay Leno is the guest star, talking to the big O about the changes at NBC that saw Conan O’Brien exit The Tonight Show.

Here is an excerpt:

Oprah: Do you feel any personal responsibility for Conan’s disappointment?

Jay: No. It had nothing to do with me. I mean, as I say, there is always someone waiting in the wings in this business to take your job. If you’re not doing the numbers, they move on. It’s pretty simple.

Oprah: When you go back to The Tonight Show, do you think about rebuilding that audience and how you’re going to do that?

Jay: Very much so. That’s on my mind every day.

Oprah: And how will you do that?

Jay: I think you do it by doing the work. You find out what the elements are that worked on the show, and you try to bring those elements to it. But it’s really the idea of servicing the audience. You know, the reason I work a lot on the road is you tell a joke…if a joke works in Boston and Oklahoma City and Des Moines, Iowa, and L.A., it’ll work on TV.

It airs 1pm Monday March 8th on TEN.

13 Responses

  1. Have never liked Leno and have always thought Conan come across as a nice Guy who was fine in the back up role on later.
    Having said that i always believed he would be a failure on the” Main Game”,no matter how you look at it the most successful hosts seem to have a slightly bad boy or naughtiness about them.
    This is a trait that seems to flow freely from Letterman and Craig Ferguson, Leno coasted for years on a wave and I think he’s going to have one hell of a time clawing back his previous ratings.

  2. The Interview doesnt tell you much… i saw it when i was over in the US. shame it took so long for Ten to show it here.

    Jay comes away looking like a dickhead and Oprah invites Conan on her show…. but Conan said “its not the right time”

    interestingly they did a website poll at the time (not sure if it will be shown in our broadcast) but around 80% of people supported Conan and the rest where on Jay’s side. It shocks me with a support level that low that his show is winning the ratings.

    I for 1 cant stand the guy…. i wish him and his chins would retire…. dont find him funny at all

  3. Bass – they really need to run The Late Shift again, I saw that years ago and it really shows the crap that went on behind the scenes and how Letterman was screw out of that just. Good thing he can still joke about it to this day.

  4. I caught most of this on Youtube, I think there is nothing Jay can do or say that will remove his guilt in this whole scenario, I don’t for 1 minute by the ‘i’m just poor and innocent in all this, its all NBC’s fault” crap that he tries to put out.

    Whilst I’m on the topic, if anyone gets the chance to watch a movie called The Late Shift which was made about the last time this happened its a great watch, Kathy Bates does a sensational job as Leno’s agent and details the political behind the scenes of what happened when Carson quit.

  5. I’ll watch if Letterman is going to be on the couch LOL

    What does he man it had nothing to do with him! If the chin had retired like all previous Tonight Show hosts then Conan would still be on and probably with better ratings, the 10pm show poached viewers, why wait until 11:35 when you can catch the same show at 10?

    And now Kimmel is out because of Jay!

    Bring back Coco!

    David do we have any numbers on how the show has been doing so far since the return?

  6. What a BS artist! Jay was never “waiting in the wings” to take Conan’s job. Jay Resigned from TV, leaving his show to Conan, then had a cry ’cause he wanted another show. They gave it to him. He failed. The network shoves Conan out of the way for Failure Jay to come back.

    “If you’re not doing the numbers…” That’s right Jay. No one wanted to watch your show. They did want to watch Conan. Maybe he lost some viewers when he took over TTS, but he was only 7 months into his run.

    I loved Jay as the 4th host of The Tonight Show, but he doesn’t deserve to be its 6th!

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