Friday, January 15, 2010
I'm honestly sorry to keep harping on this, but I can't stress enough how badly the NBC name is being defamed and tarnished by the people whose responsibility it is, ostensibly, to keep it safely above reproach.
In an interview with the New York Times, long-time NBC executive Dick Ebersol says that Conan O'Brien's jokes about Jay Leno are "chicken-hearted" and that it's "gutless to blame a guy you couldn't beat in the ratings."
Ebersol goes on to say, "What this is really all about is an astounding failure by Conan."
I've said this in the comment section, as have others, but it really has to be repeated on the main page: If Leno hadn't been given the chance to breathe a little and grow into his role as host of The Tonight Show when he took the reins back in 1992, he wouldn't be in the seemingly bulletproof position he's in right now. If you were to judge it by the same yardstick being used to judge Conan -- ratings and only ratings -- then Leno's tenure on the show was an outright failure for three years. He had The Tonight Show for three years before he overtook Letterman in the ratings. During that time, for those who don't remember or weren't paying attention, NBC executives behind the scenes hemmed and hawed and bitched and moaned over whether they'd made the right decision and given the show to the right guy. And then Leno found his footing, made a couple of adjustments to the show, scored at least one big interview -- Hugh Grant -- and turned the tide indefinitely.
Conan was never given that chance because just six months after being handed the show, Zucker panicked and pulled him. That's the sign of a myopic, quick-fix leader -- which Zucker has always been -- and it's why NBC is in the mess it's in right now. All the temporary stopgap measures Zucker's taken throughout the years -- the cosmetic changes he's made and the band-aids he's put on tiny cracks that were always destined to grow larger -- have ultimately led to this nightmare. His peacocks have come home to roost, so to speak.
But of course a megalomaniacal turd like Ebersol would side with his fellow NBC executrash. And of course Ebersol understands successful comedy, being that he all but ran Saturday Night Live into the ground in the early 80s during Lorne Michaels's absence.
Though he is in charge of NBC's Olympics coverage -- and that's the funniest stuff on television.