The National Broadcasting Company once was a beacon of shinning light in the television world. An example of some of the networks former shows below.
Former Shows –
Rowan & Martins Laugh-In
Knight Rider (The Original)
Sanford & Son
Chico and the Man
I Dream of Jeannie
Hill Street Blues
Homicide: Life on the Streets
The Facts of Life
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Gimmie a Break
NBC was also the home of “Must See TV,” where they owned Thursday Nights from the mid 80’s until the late 90’s. Shows such as The Cosby Show, Friends, Seinfeld, and Cheers were the biggest draws on Thursday. In the mid 80’s The Cosby Show and A Different World was required television in my home. My mama was particular about what I watched but those two shows always got the green light.
Now after decades of greatness look at what’s left?
1. 30 Rock
2. All the Law & Order’s
3. The Office
4. Parks & Recreation.
I can’t put Heroes on the list because that show is on its last leg. Every Monday night I wish for someone to come and finish it off. What was once a promising show has turned into an episode of Passions meets The Incredibles.
How did this mighty Titan end up being so limp? I’m surprised that they haven’t dusted off Saved by the Bell and recreated Saved by the Bell “The Married Years.” Mr. Belding is not in his 70’s yet so he shouldn’t be retired (you know we are in a recession – you can’t afford to stop working). The lack of creativity and imagination has sent this NBC down the crapper. I watched Chuck the other day just to see what it was about. Afterwards my first thought was: you got rid of Southland and kept this?? No offense to the female spy in lingerie but I’ve seen better acting at a church play. You would be surprised what an auto mechanic can do when he is playing the resurrected Jesus the Christ.
The network decided that they would not be bothered with creating 10:00pm dramas (the usual show at that time) and would focus their effort on cheap entertainment. Besides “I Love New York” on VH1, the cheapest shows out are talk shows. Cheap, because 15 white comedic writers from Harvard are less expensive than 15 white dramatic writers from Harvard. Cheap, because there are no changes to locations and the need for different set designs. YES!!! It must have sounded like a splendid idea when the corporate suits came up with it. All they needed to do was put the plan into motion.
Somewhere before this grand decision was made. CBS and ABC were coming on strong at 10:00pm and NBC was getting its teeth kicked in. NBC decide that they would prematurely retire Jay Leno……while he was still number 1 in the late show ratings!!!! Even Jay Z knew he couldn’t retire!! In the Entertainment Field you don’t leave at the top of your game. You wait until your career is half dead and then you resurrect it and do it again. Leno (whether by ego or just plain naïveté) let it be known that he might take his show (his persona) on the road. NBC was so afraid that their “Tonight Show” would get killed by Jay Leno on another network that they caved in. They retired Jay and rehired him to host his own show.
Conan O’Brien was the wacky zany guy that hosted Late Night and was the air-apparent to Jay Leno. He stuck it out with NBC in order to one day be able to sit in Johnny Carson’s chair. It took me awhile to get Conan but once I started to understand him I liked what I saw. I love his self-loathing style of humor and how he is able to make a joke and be the butt of one. Don’t get me wrong because Leno is alright. It’s just that when he tells jokes, you feel like you are watching senior citizen’s performing Shakespeare at the local Denny’s.
So with Conan leaving the Late Show someone was needed to fill that spot. I swear on everything that is right and just in the world. I don’t know how Jimmy Fallon’s name got pulled out of the hat to get the gig. The Citizen Household was shocked when we heard the news. Citizen Wifey was calling foul and was trying to track down Arsenio Hall. I was almost going to cry foul until they said The Roots would be his house band. Because George Lopez and Wanda Sikes were getting their own shows I was satisfied…..for now. I would mention that another black woman has a show but I don’t watch the network she is on.
*SIDE NOTE* It’s 2010 and all the major network talk show hosts look like they did back in the 1950’s. Reality Check Please!!
So everybody plays a game of talk show musical chairs and what do we get after 7 months?
Local Television affiliates (Boston’s WHDH is one in particular) are so pissed off that they are threatening to stop showing the Jay Leno Show. Leno’s ratings are so bad that people aren’t even sticking around to watch the news. Conan isn’t fairing any better. My parents (long time Carson watchers) stopped watching The Tonight Show. My mama doesn’t like Conan and thinks his pants are too tight (don’t judge my mama!!!). Conan was more underground when he was doing Late Night and now they have him all corporate on The Tonight Show. The demographics for both shows are different. Conan will eventually be able to build an audience but he needs more than just 7 months.
Don’t ask me what Fallon is doing because I only watch for:
a. The Skits
b. The Roots
c. Whoever is performing with The Roots
Occassionaly I have to sit through a guest or two but I will say he is getting better with his interviews.
So after 7 months of getting their heads handed to them, what do they do? They try to make everyone go back to what they were doing before the move. If that’s not the dumbest thing you ever heard. It’s like shoving the baby back up in the mother because the Doctors didn’t like what they saw. This is the same network that brought you Homicide: Life on the Streets??? Oh, but it is the same network that brought you Manimal (which I did watch by the way).
Now they are saying that Fallon will come on at 1:00am in their new line up. That doesn’t make sense to me. If Leno starts at 11:30pm (Eastern) he will end at 12:30am. That means Conan would start at 12:30am (which would actually be the next day) and end at 1:30am. Oopps.. I forgot about poor Carson Daly. He usually comes on after Jimmy Fallon. His show Last Call would now come on when people are getting up to go to work. His new audience would be people that went work at 5:00am and mothers feeding their newborn children.
So what happens next? Conan has put his foot down and said that he aint movin!!!! Unfortunately for Conan, Leno is okay with moving back to his original spot. Fallon is just hoping that he doesn’t end up coming on at 4:00pm. And Daly is too scared to say anything. This has turned into a PR nightmare for NBC and they deserve all of the bad press. They sacrificed quality content for quick and easy. How do you forget how to make good television? I’ve shared my opinion about what I think happened. What do you think?