Rival producers loath NBC’s Leno move

December 10, 2008

(ChattahBox) — Hollywood’s top TV producers had some rather harsh comments over NBC’s decision to keep Jay Leno at the network by giving him a weeknight 10 p.m. talk show. The fourth-ranked network confirmed that Leno would move into primetime next June after he hands over the reins of “The Tonight Show” to Conan O’Brien. It means that NBC will end up programing only 17 hours a week instead of 22, a move that will save it money but reduce its demand for scripted programing.

Participants at the Hollywood Radio and Television Society’s “Hitmakers” luncheon panel at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel wondered if NBC should be considered in the Big Four anymore, and offered scathing comments as:

“I’m wondering if NBC is publicly transforming itself into AM radio,” said James Duff, creator/executive producer of TNT’s “The Closer.” “I thought they were in a coma, so it’s a good sign … They’re actively participating in their own demise.” If there’s a silver lining, it’s that the creators of new dramas will be even more inclined to take their shows to cable, said Duff.

“As entertaining as Jay is, I think it’s too bad that NBC is making choices primarily from a financial consideration vs. putting on the best possible work,” said panel moderator Peter Tolan, co-creator/executive producer of FX’s “Rescue Me.”

Al Jean, the executive producer of Fox’s “The Simpsons,” joked that NBC could further enhance its standing by bringing back late talk-show maven Johnny Carson and giving him the 9 p.m. hour.

Jenji Kohan, creator/executive producer of Showtime’s “Weeds,” also joked that the network should bring back the Barbara Mandrell-led variety specials of the early 1980s. NBC last month tried reviving the format with host Rosie O’Donnell to less than stellar results.

I am not certain if this is just sour grapes or not (what do you think?), but I am pretty sure if Leno’s show does well some networks will follow suit as they always do.

Reported by: Hot Momma Celebrity Gossip


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