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Conan Beats Letterman in Ratings, Makes Jokes Over NBC Late Night Shake-Up

With all the rumors and speculation over the future of The Jay Leno Show and The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, Conan’s episode on Friday crushed its CBS rival The Late Show with David Letterman in adults 18-49 with a 1.2/4 rating/share in Nielsen’s 25 local markets.

With a highly-viewed lead in, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon beat Craig Ferguson’s show with a 0.6/3 rating/share.

“Jay and I will be joining the cast of Jersey Shore as a new character called ‘The Awkward Situation,’ joked Conan O’Brien on show his show Friday night.

Leno is also awkwardly joking about his current show’s status in his own monologue. “I guess you heard these rumors that NBC is talking about canceling our show. You know what that means? I didn’t sleep with any of my staff for nothing,” he joked.

Amid dismal ratings, NBC reportedly plans to pull Jay Leno from the experimental 10 p.m. time slot when NBC begins its coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver next month.

NBC also plan to trim Leno’s show from the current one hour format to a brisk 30-minute show. Depending on how talks go with the affiliates and Conan O’Brien, who follows Leno in NBC’s lineup, this new strategy would give the network flexibility to air the newly slimmed down Jay Leno Show at either 11 or 11:30 p.m.

“Both Jay and the show are committed to working closely with them to find ways to improve the performance,” NBC said in a statement.

TMZ is reporting that O’Brien can either do his show at midnight or leave the network. Rival network Fox, who airs syndicated repeats on local affiliates is having a “wait and see” approach on the late night shake up at NBC.

“We’ve always been interested in late night and we’re always looking to bring great new talent to Fox,” said a source. “While Conan would be a great fit for Fox, he’s still under contract with NBC.”

Topics: General | 1 Comment »

One Response to “Conan Beats Letterman in Ratings, Makes Jokes Over NBC Late Night Shake-Up”
Greg - January 11th, 2010 at 11:48 am

They’ve got to keep Conan. It would hilarious to see Conan with Leno in the Andy Richter position. Sorry, Andy.

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