The Jay Leno Show has been widely discussed. Is it a fundamental shift in TV? does it change the economics? Will it flop? Will others follow?
Pre-launch reactions weren’t really positive nor negative. However, tonight’s airing didn’t really seem to knock people’s socks off.
The ratings will have to be the final verdict. BUT…. (it wouldn’t be a fun blog post if I didn’t speculate without sufficient data, right 🙂 )
My initial take: this will be a mediocre success in the short term and eventually make for a hard decision at NBC. The huge amount of internal media thrown at it by NBC ensures that people know about the show.
The show’s content long term challenge will come from the Internet. A topical comedy show that aims to be on top of the day’s events is really the specialty of Internet media. The fact is TV content needs to be of a certain quality to succeed long term and trying to churn out decent comedy in this new form is going to be very difficult.
The business of the show will struggle long term as well. They have to make big bucks on TV ads and I don’t think they can make the same cashflow with this show AND 2 late night shows. Here is also another issue… how will the other shows and the local affiliates react. Let’s say this does work a little bit. There’s a high likelihood that the Tonight Show and Jimmy Fallon will suffer from lack of a strong lead in and ad dollar competition. The local affiliates might hate it to as for decades viewing behavior has been news then comedy. If others are like me then as soon as these monologues finish you start to fall asleep…. uh oh!
Oh, yes, let’s discuss Kayne and his impact on Leno’s ratings. This is not going to be a long term boost to ratings. When Hugh Grant happened, we didn’t have youtube and twitter. Kayne’s moment has already peaked. What I mean is that the consumer attention for this Kayne moment on Leno has already been exhausted by the Internet.