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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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