You’ve undoubtedly heard the hype by now: Jay Leno is moving to primetime with The Jay Leno Show airing Sep. 14 at 10 pm. Will this be a show worth watching? Is NBC crazy for giving up their 10 pm slot to a comedy hour and not some drama? If you ask me, anything besides the late ER is a big step in the right direction.
The Jay Leno Show will not be a variety show, nor will it be a repeat talk show like the one Leno just retired from. He says, simply, there will be more comedy and less guests. In other words, all the good stuff we liked from the Tonight Show like his monologues, Headlines and Jay Walking, plus some new additions.
The Jay Leno Show will now feature regular corespondents, sort of Daily Show-esque, if you will. Most surprising about this tid bit is that Brian Williams, anchor to NBC Nightly News, will be one of those corespondents. It will be interesting to see how that one turns out.
The new show will also feature “The Green Car Challenge” where guests will race each other on a race track in a souped-up electric Ford Focus to see who can get the fastest time. “There are a lot of celebrities who people want to see, but they don’t necessarily want to hear them talk,” Leno said.
Leno’s opening show will feature Jerry Seinfeld (who coincidentally was Leno’s first guest on the Tonight Show many years ago) and musical guests Kanye West, Rihanna and Jay-Z. I’m a little iffy about this choice, but I guess some people like that kind of music.
From what I’ve seen and heard, The Jay Leno Show has all the makings of a great show–it has potential–there’s just no telling if it will snatch all the ratings or crash and burn. So why is it being considered such a gamble?
For starters, The Jay Leno Show will have to compete with new series on other networks. Eastwick and The Forgotten, two new dramas on ABC; and The Good Wife, a new drama on CBS. That’s not mentioning the likes of other primetime hits like the CSI series or shows on other cable networks.
On top of this there’s the research which shows that kids and older viewers tune out at 10, the reason why the networks switched to scripted, more sexually charged and violent, dramas in the first place. But the research doesn’t mean anything to Leno.
“Research shows people are against pornography” Leno said. “That’s why it’s a $16 billion business.”
Touché, Mr. Leno. We’ll see you this Fall.
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