Jay Leno is moving to 10 p.m., every god damn night of the week! That sure is something. You never realize how many people love Jay Leno until something like this happens (or until you find yourself in a comedy club in Winston-Salem, talking to the owner, Roy). NBC is obviously happy about it—and so is Jay, or he would have taken his middling act elsewhere—but, as in everything in showbiz, some people got screwed in this deal. After the jump, the biggest winners and losers of the Return of the Chin:
Jay Leno—Big money. And he becomes a pioneer! Time slot-wise.
Nightline—They would have likely gotten pushed off the ABC schedule in favor of Leno if he had come over as planned. Now they get to continue with whatever it is they do.
Jeff Zucker—The NBC president gets to fill up almost a quarter of his weekly primetime schedule with a talk show and a proven star—which will come much cheaper than a new scripted show, and be more likely to succeed. NBC might save up to $200 million (!).
Dave Letterman—He loses Leno as a direct competitor.
Conan O'Brien—Yesterday, he was all set to be the heir to the NBC Late Night throne; now, he has to suffer a weekly lead-in from Leno, a constant reminder that he is not yet The Man.
Ben Silverman—It's Silverman's job to actually turn out, you know, shows for NBC. Scripted shows, that don't suck, and that are successful. If he were at all good at his job, NBC never would have given Leno this big a chunk of its schedule. One source told the WP "This is an indictment of the complete collapse of [NBC's prime time] over the last four or five years." Silverman needs some hits, soon.
Comedy—Jay Leno, not really that funny.