It’s no secret that I’ve been a huge fan of Conan O’Brien for a long time. I loved him on Late Night, and what he’s done so far during his brief time on The Tonight Show is spectacular. He’s updating the franchise for our generation, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the work he’s done in the past seven months. Sadly, NBC thinks differently.
I’m sure you’re aware of the fiasco going on at NBC right now, and if you feel the same way I do, feel free to copy and paste the email addresses here and let your opinion be known:
Subject: The Tonight Show
To: JOHN.ECK@nbc.com, Jeff.Gaspin@nbc.com, JEFF.ZUCKER@nbc.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, STEVE.CAPUS@nbc.com, ALLISON.GOLLUST@nbc.com, PAULA.MADISON@nbc.com, CORY.SHIELDS@nbc.com, JOHN.WALLACE@nbc.com, David.Verdi@nbc.com, Jeff.Zucker@nbc.com, Bob.Wright@nbc.com, LYNN.CALPETER@nbc.com, DICK.EBERSOL@nbc.com, MARK.HOFFMAN@nbc.com, MICHAEL.PILOT@nbc.com, email@example.com, MARC.CHINI@nbcuni.com, Alyssa.Corcoran@nbcuni.com, MICHAEL.BASS@nbcuni.com, MICHAEL.PILOT@nbcuni.com, Ron.Lamprecht@nbcuni.com
Dear NBC Executives,
I’m writing in regards to…well, you already know, so I won’t waste your time with an introduction.
I’ve enjoyed watching Conan on Late Night, and much more briefly on The Tonight Show, for the better part of two decades. He is my favorite late night host on any network by far. If he stays on NBC, I will continue to watch him on NBC. But if this reckless move that you are proposing goes through, then I will not watch any late night show on NBC, the local news on NBC affiliates, nor will I tune in to any NBC show other than The Office, which for me at the current moment, is the network’s only worthwhile output other than The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien.
The reason why Jay’s show failed and Conan’s show has been losing to Letterman in the ratings is two-fold. First, Jay is not funny. Secondly, and related to the first point, Jay was not put back on the air until months after Conan took over The Tonight Show. Thus, many of Jay’s remaining fans split themselves between Letterman and Conan. By the time Jay finally returned at 10, he was easily forgotten because of his aforementioned inability to be funny, and because he had already lost so many viewers to Letterman and Conan. He may have been able to survive at 10 had his show began immediately when Conan took over, so that Jay’s fans could watch him and then hopefully stay tuned for Conan, but NBC took another route, and have failed. Suck it up, and cancel–not move–Jay, just as you would cancel any other show that fails. Jay Leno has had his moment in the spotlight for long enough, and it’s now Conan’s turn.
If Conan does not remain the host of The Tonight Show at 11:35pm EST, every weekday on NBC, I can guarantee that whatever he does next will far exceed–both in content and in ratings–anything that Leno can do for your network. The aftermath of your decision will not be pretty. You will lose far more viewers than you have lost already, myself included.
Please reconsider your decision, and let Conan stay just where he is. Give him the time he needs to produce the best late night show on TV, one that advances the show’s format instead of allowing it to remain stale, because that’s exactly what Conan is going to do–whether he’s on NBC or not.
I hope you make the right decision.
And here’s one of my favorite bits from Late Night, which inexplicably, Conan has not brought over to The Tonight Show: