The big news at the TCA Press Tour, the annual event that gives the TV press a chance to question the network honchos and stars about the upcoming TV season, is, of course, The Jay Leno Show. There is obviously a lot riding on the show for NBC but many are asking, if the show succeeds, what will that mean for prime time TV moving forward? Will the other networks follow suit or will this be the first nail in the coffin for the networks all together?
At an NBC event yesterday, Jay Leno addressed the new format of his show:
“The set is interesting. It’s a lot bigger than our old set. There’s no desk. We might use a desk in the last 15 minutes because I’m trying to think of some better way to do headlines. But it won’t be a talk show, and it won’t be a variety show with wigs and hats on and things of that nature. We have a number of correspondents. And we have some featured people. I spoke to Brian Williams from The Nightly News and I said, ‘Would you be willing to do something on a regular basis, contributing perhaps things like stories that weren’t good enough for The Nightly News, this type of stuff?’ And he said yes, he would love to do it. So he is going to, hopefully, hone his comedy chops on our show. He’ll be a featured guest. Then we’re going to introduce a lot of new correspondents. The idea of having comedians coming on, doing their little five-minute stand-up, and sitting down, there’s nothing wrong with that. But to give it a bit more punch, I’m hoping we can make some stars here. We’ve found a number of people, like D.L. Hughley, who will report on politics in Washington, D.C.”
Of course, the critics are suspicious that no matter how good the show is, five nights of Jay Leno followed by Conan and Jimmy might be a little too much for the average viewer. And, more importantly, will viewers be swayed away from scripted shows on the other networks, which include established hits like The Mentalist, to watch Jay’s usual shtick? Guess we’ll find out in a few weeks.
Will you be watching Jay at 10? Let us know what you think about NBC’s big gamble.
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