Jay Leno: First Week Ratings

I thought I'd give our faithful Screen Rant readers the run down on the ratings for the first week of the Jay Leno show...  despite the fact I'm a bit averse to actually covering talk shows and most comedies.  I felt it a worthy sacrifice if I ventured into hostile territory for you guys.

With the previous week being the first one for the new Jay Leno Show on NBC, I wasn't sure what to expect.  NBC marketed the living heck out of it and I was curious if people who watched Jay in his old time slot were willing to give up some other existing TV show in order to continue seeing him on TV.

I tuned in one night last week and to be honest, for all the hype about how different the show was going to be, I was surprised at just how much this new rendition was the same as Jay's previous incarnation of The Tonight Show.

As far as the ratings went, Monday brought in 18.4 million viewers but by the time Friday rolled around, the shiny new feel wore off and the week ended with just under 8 million viewers.

Despite being pretty much like his previous show and NBC banking so much on it by dumping some other scripted dramas, I found a couple of interesting flaws with Jay's show.  One of them was how they're going to be blending his closing stand-up skit into the following news program on whatever NBC affiliate has news following Jay.

You see, NBC has Jay's show ending and without any commercial break the programming segues straight into the news.

Wonderful idea.  On the night I watched, I loved Jay Leno making his final joke of the night fade into the news about the Yale student found stuffed in a wall.  Real nice.

My other issue was that for me here in the Bay Area, apparently the news cast staff have running instructions to mention Jay Leno throughout the broadcast.  OMG!  Just how many fracking times can you mention Jay Leno for no real reason?  I didn’t count the times, but I felt awkward for the news crew.

Uh ho, I feel a mini-rant coming on...

Since today TV news is about generating ratings by glorifying terrible news in order to make it water cooler fodder,  I guess I really shouldn't be that surprised.  My first awareness of when the news started to be about gossip-like material was way back when Dolly the sheep was cloned.  The day that this scientific success, which could literally affect all of history for humanity itself (whether for good or bad) was on the news, but the announcement was the 8th item on the list of the newscast I was watching... just behind the car chases, the murders, the old folks getting scammed of their life savings.  Yeah...  that's when I started looking at TV with a different eye.

Ratings source:  TV By The Numbers

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