How’s the Jay Leno Show Faring These Days?

Published 5 years ago by

jay leno Hows the Jay Leno Show Faring These Days?

Despite all the hoopla and what appeared to be NBC directives of enforced support for The Jay Leno Show, and pulling scripted dramas en masse, The Jay Leno Show is not faring as well as could be expected.

NBC made a reasonable pitch, declaring how different the show would be… if you count pulling the desk off the set and rearranging the same routines as different, then fine, it’s different. Otherwise, I’m not sure what the change is. And to boot, viewers aren’t impressed.

At least it doesn’t look good from last Monday night where The Jay Leno Show pulled in 4.6 million viewers…  and was bested by everything on the air except One Tree Hill on The CW, Gossip Girl, again from The CW and, well… huh. That’s it.

Dancing with the Stars, at its peak, had 18.4 million viewers and took the night, but in the very same time slot that Leno sat, his 4.6 million viewers did not compete against a rerun of CSI: Miami, which drew in 11.2 million viewers, and Castle was right behind CSI: Miami, with 11.1 million viewers soundly trouncing Leno.

I think that if the show had actually been different, it might have had a chance. Now what do they do?  Stay happy that they’re beating The CW soundly and stick by their guns, despite how much money they dropped on Jay? Or start looking to actually make real changes to the show?

What changes? I don’t know. Maybe they need to put Jay in Heroes and give him a mutation power of the gift of insight.

Source: TV By The Numbers

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  1. NBC’s old Emmy award winning dramas, Law & Order, ER and the West Wing drew an average of 18-23 million viewers to the 10:00 pm time slot. They were expensive to produce but well worth it in ratings, Emmy Awards, and lead ins to the 11:00 pm local newscasts. Leno’s show does none of these things for NBC or it’s local affiliates.

    They need to clean house at NBC HQ and fire the idiots who came up with this “let’s do it cheaply to save a lot of money” idea.

  2. The fact that I hate the most is this: NBC is treating the 10:00 pm hour not as television/media item but as a cost of doing business. To them it’s no different than say GE buying parts for their washing machines or airfcraft engines. The cheapest part (as long as it saves us money and does ok) will do.

    However, television is not like other industries. Television is an abstract industry. It’s an industry of ideas and concepts, not nuts and bolts parts like manufacturing. A fact that is now lost on NBC.

  3. I think the difference is between making cheaper programming and actually making quality TV to make more money.
    There are a ton of shows that don’t take much to produce, but do people actually watch them? And is there any type of long term return? They’ll be selling Leno on late night infomercials like they do comedy roasts and Johnny Carson in ten years. That’s about it.

    There will be no Leno conventions.

  4. Is there anyone else who never found Leno all that funny to begin with?
    His monologue jokes would usually follow the formula of “mention recent news item, pause, make sarcastic often derogatory remark”

  5. I am not sure what the point of the “new” Leno show is suppose to be about. I thought Leno was leaving television altogether. Why leave The Tonight Show if he was just going to do the same thing at another time. I saw the previews and didn’t noticed anything new so it didn’t interest me.

  6. I will start off by saying that Jay was great on the Tonight Show. He should never have been replaced by Conan, who is not quite ready for prime time, not to say that he is not bad. Someone thought that Jay would just fade away, but he got better he went along, so NBC got worried about losing him to another network. They hope that this show would work(sort of, but not really), they set Jay up for failure big time. Sure NBC is spending money, not not that much. They want Jay to fail, go away, and fade away never to be seen or heard from again. This is a way to shame him away, so in a few years people will say “who was Jay Leno?”. This is their revenge for daring to succeed in spite of of their effort to make him fail.

  7. @Jim Wagoner

    “They want Jay to fail, go away, and fade away never to be seen or heard from again.”

    I don’t know if it is anything as dramatic as that, but I agree that this 9:00 Show is NBC throwing a bone to Leno. At best, they hoped that Leno would be carve out a nice sized piece of the pie, but they really just didn’t want to lose him to another network.

    And they REALLY didn’t want to lose Conan, who flat out said he was going to leave NBC if he didn’t get the Tonight Show. So they did the only thing they could do. Keep Leno in the NBC fold so he didn’t become a competitor in the same time slot against Conan’s new Tonight Show.

  8. well all I know is that I watch Castle and it kicks ass!

  9. The fact that it’s doing badly is a very good thing. This whole “experiment” was done to see just how successful un-scripted television could be. Had this been really successful, we’d have been saying goodbye to a whole load of well scripted shows because hey, the cheaper unscripted stuff does just as well if not better!

    Leno failing hard means more money can be spent on scripted shows, which is what we need more of on TV right now.


    I like Jay, and his Jaywalking skits can sometimes be extremely funny. I have only watched one episode and not even in it’s entirety. It’s just not that good. I like my scripted drama/comedy/action shows, though, and I hope that Jay’s show is an aberration and networks still see there is a market for well-WRITTEN television shows.

    Oh, and Craig Ferguson is better than Jay, Conan, Dave and Fallon. Gotta love the puppets!! :D

  11. How could Jay stoop so low as to bring on an elephant, among the other ‘wild’ animals to his show? That elephant belongs in a sanctuary, NOT eating fruit from Jay’s hands. Shame and more shame. Animals are not ours for eating, experimenting or for our entertainment. One less viewer for the Jay Leno show.

  12. MMMMmmm…steak…….

  13. Arsenio Hall really is not an asset to your show

  14. The new Leno show is a mess, “Jay walking” is funny (the best segment)and “10 for 10″ is a disaster.
    I watch “Castle” monday nights (reminds me of the 80s show “Moonlighting” with Cybil Shepard and Bruce Willis – great chemistry!) and other nights whatever else.
    And Letterman is my man.

  15. well, i made money betting with the chicken…

  16. Esquincher: Yep, reality and reality-like TV is cheap to produce and gives the studios a bigger return on the investment! Sadly speaking.

    Jim Wagoner: I hear ya. I just never saw Conan as a viable option. If I recall correctly, Conan ratings (When he took over Jay’s slot) took quite the nose dive.

    Joshi: GP. (good point)

    I hated now NBC strong armed all the networks across the country to pump the show up… and for what? Nada.

  17. I say let ‘em eat cake. hmm that doesn’t seem appropriate.
    Does it really matter what this network puts on during that time. Not like the 8 and 9 pm shows are all that popular. If they want the equivalent of a talk show during the 10pm slot for all eternity let ‘em. Less grief for me deciding what to watch on the weekdays.

  18. Jay Leno is funny and like able. He seems so approachable and normal. We watched the
    “tonight show” and now we watch Jay at 9:00 (central). He’s never forgotten where he came from unlike that narcissistic boor–Letterman. We love Jay no matter what time he’s on.

  19. Love him. He’s really funny and I don’t care what anyone else thinks. Thank goodness Conan was replaced, Jay does the job much better. I’ll keep watching him til he’s done doing tv…