Jay Leno's Sad Variety Show: "Welcome to the future"

So, the new Jay Leno variety hour. Are you dying to learn more about it or what? Ha, network statistics show that you are! Advertisers are also very enthusiastic about the move of the not-quite-funny entertainer into prime time. Perhaps the enthusiasm stems from the fact that Leno now has a mandate that his show not suck quite so much as it currently does. Is this guy trying in vain to rip off the Daily Show, or bring back vaudeville?:

[He] will retain many of the familiar elements of his “Tonight Show,” though not the formal desk interviews that are so closely linked to “Tonight”; and that the show, at least for now, apparently will be called “The Jay Leno Show.”

So what will he do instead of yapping inanely while sitting in a chair?

He said the new program, scheduled for 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, would be “more topical” and would book more newsmakers as guests. He said he expected to do more comedy outside the studio, to add more stunts, and that the mix of the show would be different, shifting away from the “Tonight” format of comedy, first guest, second guest and music act.

From this vague description, you get a sense that NBC wants to keep the Leno monologue and the bits where Jay walks down the boardwalk or whatever, talking to America's dumbest citizens about their lack of current events knowledge. Throw in some "Stunts" (we shudder), and you've got a hit! This show will make booking A-list guests that much more competitive, so watch for an increase in B-list movie stars pimping their films.

Advertisers love it! They think the skit-like format will translate well into stupid YouTube clips and defeat Tivo, which are now the only two qualifications for a successful television show:

“Welcome to the future,” said Tim Spengler, United States president at Initiative, a media agency owned by the Interpublic Group of Companies. “And there’s probably more of this to come.”

You get what you want, America. [NYT, NYT]