Jun 11, 2009
Dear NBC: Please Tone Down the Hype on Conan
OK, so TV MoJoe likes the Conan. And we've been pretty consistent in warning against reading too much into the overnight household ratings for the latenight daypart-- both when "The Tonight Show" premiered strongly, and when "Late Show" rallied back last week.
It was no surprise, then, that O'Brien would end up trouncing Letterman when the final numbers came out. Good for Conan. And good for NBC, which actually did a great job launching the show from a marketing and PR point of view.
But then NBC this morning goes and puts out a release declaring "Conan the New King of Late Night."
Really, NBC? Really?
It's one week, people. Lots will change. NBC insiders have said they plan to measure O'Brien's success in years, not weeks or months.
So why set up O'Brien for mocking by declaring him the king of latenight, just eight days into his run? Why give CBS something to throw back in your face when the race tightens (and it will tighten)?
It's a shame that, while the players have changed, the same silly "late night wars" mentality continues to persist in so many quarters.
To paraphrase the scholar Fergie: "NBC, you're so 2000-and-late."
End of rant.