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We’re back with some television news for you to fall into.

Only a handful of years since his last retirement from The Tonight Show, it appears that the curtain is closing on Jay Leno once again in 2014. As expected, he will be passing the torch to Saturday Night Live alum and Late Night host Jimmy Fallon. This time around it seems much more likely that Leno will not steal the show back as he did when Conan O’Brien took over the hosting duties in 2009. Speaking of Conan, his own late night show over on TBS has been renewed through November of 2015.

With Fallon moving to The Tonight Show, rumors have begun about who might replace him on Late Night with the frontrunner seemingly being fellow SNLer Seth Meyers. Personally I think Meyers would be a great fit.

USA Network has announced their summer slate premiere dates! Lets start with Burn Notice (pictured left), the spy action series will start its seventh season on Thursday, June 6 at 9pm. It will be followed by the new series Graceland, which stars Daniel Sunjata and Aaron Tveit. Like Burn, the series is an action drama (and I’m sure it will have its share of lighthearted fare).  A week later on Wednesday June 12th, Royal Pains and Necessary Roughness’ new seasons begin. Pains at 9pm and Roughness at 10pm. Then you’ll have to wait almost another week for the return at Covert Affairs and Suits on Tuesday June 16th (also 9pm and 10pm).

The only standout USA Network show missing from the lot is White Collar, which will return with a new season in the fall (hey, they have to save something for their fall schedule).

Spoilers! Turn away if you have not watched the season finale of The Walking Dead. The third season of the zombie survival drama was really strong up until the last couple episodes. It went out without the bang everyone was expecting and that AMC hyped so loudly. It did have its fair share of surprises, including the fact that the season’s villain, the Governor (David Morrissey), survived. Everyone that I know (and myself) included counted on him being killed and we were taking bets on who would/should do it (Maggie and Michonne topped the list of would-be killers). AMC has announced that Morrissey will indeed be back next season as a regular. I honestly have no idea where they could take this character. I guess he can go out and build a new army to attack the prison- but how can they do this and keep things fresh? We shall see when The Walking Dead returns in October.

Conan O'Brien

Conan O’Brien has issued a statement in regards to NBC’s decision to move Jay Leno back into the 11:35pm timeslot.

People of Earth:

In the last few days, I’ve been getting a lot of sympathy calls, and I want to start by making it clear that no one should waste a second feeling sorry for me.  For 17 years, I’ve been getting paid to do what I love most and, in a world with real problems, I’ve been absurdly lucky.  That said, I’ve been suddenly put in a very public predicament and my bosses are demanding an immediate decision.

Six years ago, I signed a contract with NBC to take over The Tonight Show in June of 2009.  Like a lot of us, I grew up watching Johnny Carson every night and the chance to one day sit in that chair has meant everything to me.  I worked long and hard to get that opportunity, passed up far more lucrative offers, and since 2004 I have spent literally hundreds of hours thinking of ways to extend the franchise long into the future.   It was my mistaken belief that, like my predecessor, I would have the benefit of some time and, just as important, some degree of ratings support from the prime-time schedule.  Building a lasting audience at 11:30 is impossible without both.

But sadly, we were never given that chance.  After only seven months, with my Tonight Show in its infancy, NBC has decided to react to their terrible difficulties in prime-time by making a change in their long-established late night schedule.

Last Thursday, NBC executives told me they intended to move the Tonight Show to 12:05 to accommodate the Jay Leno Show at 11:35.  For 60 years the Tonight Show has aired immediately following the late local news.  I sincerely believe that delaying the Tonight Show into the next day to accommodate another comedy program will seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting.  The Tonight Show at 12:05 simply isn’t the Tonight Show.  Also, if I accept this move I will be knocking the Late Night show, which I inherited from David Letterman and passed on to Jimmy Fallon, out of its long-held time slot.  That would hurt the other NBC franchise that I love, and it would be unfair to Jimmy.

So it has come to this:  I cannot express in words how much I enjoy hosting this program and what an enormous personal disappointment it is for me to consider losing it.  My staff and I have worked unbelievably hard and we are very proud of our contribution to the legacy of The Tonight Show. But I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction.  Some people will make the argument that with DVRs and the Internet a time slot doesn’t matter.  But with the Tonight Show, I believe nothing could matter more.

There has been speculation about my going to another network but, to set the record straight, I currently have no other offer and honestly have no idea what happens next.  My hope is that NBC and I can resolve this quickly so that my staff, crew, and I can do a show we can be proud of, for a company that values our work.

Have a great day and, for the record, I am truly sorry about my hair; it’s always been that way.

Yours,
Conan

I’ve followed Conan for a long time and it truly sucks that he is getting the shaft like this. I’ll watch what ever show he ends up on, on whatever network he ends up on.

Posted on January 12th, 2010 by ThePit | Leave a Comment
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This really has been a strange week in entertainment. The off-screen drama has been a lot more interesting and contrived than anything that can be written.

  • For example, NBC’s late night debacle.  If you haven’t heard (but I’m sure that you have), NBC is moving Jay Leno out of prime time after 4 months of horrible ratings and putting him back into his old 11:35pm time slot.  To do this, they have to push back their whole line up, including The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (yeah, that Carson Daly guy also). They will also be cutting Jay’s show to a half an hour, aka just airing his opening monologue. Cheers to you NBC, for entertaining us on and off the screen.  I’m sitting on the edge of my seat to see how this will play out. I enjoyed Jay’s Tonight Show, but the series had its time and ended. I love Conan and hope to see where he takes the show over time. I just hope he gets that time.
  • I just want to take a moment to say that I loved James Cameron’s Avatar. I saw it in Imax 3D and it reminded me about what going to the movies could (and should) be.  This is an event film that had a little bit of everything, from mind blowing special effects and a completely new world perfectly rendered, to characters that I could actually care about. Was the plot predictable? Sure, but it didn’t take anything away from the film.  I honestly hope Avatar passes Titanic to become the number 1 Box Office grossing film of all time. It is that good. A Mini Review has been added to the archive.
  • Chuck comes back tomorrow (Sunday, 01/10/10) with a special two hour episode! Then it takes its normal timeslot Monday at 8pm on NBC (see, the Network can do something right). You can catch up on Chuck by watching last season’s finale, “Chuck Versus The Ring”, by heading over to NBC’s official website. We fought long and hard to save the series, now make sure to watch it and tell a friend to watch it to make sure we get multiple new seasons. And don’t forget to get your 5 Dollar Footlong from Subway.
  • Blake Lively has been cast as Carol Ferris in Green Lantern. Now, don’t get me wrong, I like Ms. Lively. I actually watch and (used to) enjoy Gossip Girl.  But this is horrible casting. She does not fit the role at all, not look wise or the right kind of attitude. Nor is it believable that she could be running the Ferris Airfield. Will they be de-aging the character to college aged? *shakes head* They hit the nail on the head by casting Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan, but this is a misfire. I just hope it doesn’t bring down the film or cause another sequel (lead female) recasting like Nolan’s Batman series.
  • In TV News, Miley Cyrus has quit Hannah Montana. The next season will be its last. Yeah, I think I’ve said enough about that.
  • Bill Paxton is hoping to revisit his 1996 hit Twister with a 3D sequel.  Don’t movies usually wait until the third entry into their series to go the 3D route? RE: Jaws 3D, Friday the 13th Part 3D, Amityville 3D. How else can they seamlessly blend “3D” into the title? All kidding aside, I love Twister and I’d be down for a sequel. We don’t have many event films like it anymore. Man vs nature (now in 3D).
  • Have you checked out Hollywood the Game recently? It is an online Hollywood Simulation Game and Community, where you write, cast, advertise and release virtual films. Do you have what it takes to become a mega producer?

TV News

Wow. So much can happen in just a few days; dates have been announced for the returns of my two favorite shows, a series thought dead has gotten a couple more episodes and new hope for the future, a great series is coming to a close, and a popular show is getting a webseries offshoot.

Lost, the best show on TV, will be starting its final season on February 2nd, 2010 and will air its remaining 18 episodes on Tuesday nights at 9pm. I’m on the edge of my seat. I don’t read (or post) any news or spoilers about Lost, I just like to watch and be surprised. I can’t believe we are so close to its conclusion.

I can also barely hold in the excitement that Chuck will be coming back early, on Sunday Janruary 10th, with back to back episodes, and than another new episode the next night as it retakes its 8pm time slot on NBC’s Monday night schedule. This will push the ratings struggling Heroes back to 9pm, where hopefully it can regain some of its former numbers (and glory). With the network ordering additional episodes of Chuck, bringing it back early, and trusting the series with a strong lead off spot on the schedule, this gives me hope that NBC is getting behind the series and is ready to give it a big push to help it get the numbers that it deserves.  The list of guest stars for the upcoming season is amazing, with cult favorites Robert Patrick and Vinnie Jones, Superman himself Brandon Routh, Smallville‘s Kristin Kreuk, and former WWE wrestler Steve Austin to name a few. I can’t wait to see where Chuck and company go from here.

With Heroes moving to 9pm, that means that NBC’s Trauma is homeless. The freshmen Emergency medical drama, which was thought to have been canceled, just got 3 additional episodes ordered. Are they giving it a second chance? Or is this a sign that the network might be looking for shows to replace Jay Leno at 10pm? Trauma is better suited for the later hour just as ER benefited from a 10pm slot. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jay Leno, his show is just misplaced.

After eight seasons, Monk is coming to a close. There are just three episodes left! One of the last three airs tonight at 9pm on USA. In the new episode, Monk becomes Detective Monk after he is reinstated on the police force. Well, after 8 seasons, it is about time!

Finally, ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy is expanding online! Starting this week on ABC.com and airing until Janruary 21st of the new year is Seattle Grace: On Call, a webseries spinoff of the medical drama. The series is shot in a documentary-style with four minute episodes set in Joe’s bar. They focus on this year’s new interns (Mark Saul, Molly Kidder, Joseph Williamson, Gloria Garayua, Brandon Scott), a few of the doctors that were recently merged into Seattle Grace from another hospital (Nora Zehetner and Robert Baker), and of course Joe the Bartender (Steven Bailey). I’m a big fan of webseries, and I think this is a perfect way for a show to keep people tuning in when they are airing reruns.

It is an exciting time for TV, I just wish I could say the same about movies.

Posted on November 20th, 2009 by ThePit | Leave a Comment
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Jay Leno

Tonight on NBC, an era comes to and end with Jay Leno’s last episode of the Tonight Show. I watched his jokes nightly when I was little and even though he’ll have a new primetime show, it just will not be the same. His last guest is his successor to the mantle, the hysterical Conan O’Brien, and the great James Taylor. I’ll be watching, will you?

Also on tonight…

8PM

  • FOX: Don’t Forget the Lyrics (Gameshow)
  • MNT: Friday Night SmackDown! (Wrestling)

9PM

  • ABC: Un-Broke: What You Need to Know About Money (Special)
  • NBC: Dateline NBC (News Showcase)

10PM

  • ABC: 20/20 (News Showcase)
  • E!: The Soup (Comedy Clip Show)
  • SCIFI: Primeval (Fantasy Sci Fi)

After making a few bonehead moves, including canceling My Own Worst Enemy, NBC has finally done something right.  The peacock network has signed a new deal with Jay Leno, that will keep him on the network after he passes The Tonight Show to Conan O’Brien.

While a date has not been set, the Associated Press reports that the deal would move Leno into primetime at 10pm. His show would be 5 days a week, with a simlar format to his Tonight Show, and double the amount of possible viewers as compared to his late night time slot.

I think this is awesome. I love Leno and I was getting worried that he might be taken off the air completely. Now, not only will he continue, but it’ll be ealrier, so I should be able to watch it on a regular basis. It should be interesting to see if the late night style works in primetime. The show might have a bigger possible audience, but it will also be facing off with bigger budget scripted dramas, like CSI, Without a Trace, Criminal Minds, and Eleventh Hour, to name a few. Will other networks follow suit and program late night styled shows in primetime?

Posted on December 9th, 2008 by ThePit | Leave a Comment (2)
Filed Under Entertainment