Leno Move a Sign of Network Decline

Dec 19, 2008  •  Post A Comment

NBC’s decision to air a new Jay Leno show weeknights at 10 p.m. is “as inevitable as it is sad,” says Newark Star-Ledger TV critic Alan Sepinwall in an op-ed piece in the New York Times. Once home to great shows that drew huge audiences, the broadcast networks are now just four channels in a 500 channel universe. “The networks are Wile E. Coyote running off a cliff,” he writes. “As one of them gives up and looks at where it is, as NBC has with the Jay Leno deal, there’s nowhere to go but way, way down.”
—Jon Lafayette


  1. Not really, the other networks have someone with a brain, not a bong, running them!

  2. Joanna, it’s not a bong.
    Remember the constant teeth grinding and the dialated pupils.
    Not a bong.

  3. As a New Jersey resident and Star Ledger subscriber, I read Sepinwall regularly and generally like his commentary. He said one thing in his NYT piece that’s wrong, though: “As the audience shrinks and the networks increasingly program for niches instead of the general public, they resemble cable channels more and more.”
    The problem with the broadcast networks is that they CAN’T program like the cable channels, both for audience reasons and for standards-and-practices reasons. They’re forced to leave the really interesting series concepts to the networks that have the luxury both of being able to execute them and of living with the niche ratings they attract. That’s the very definition of being between a rock and a hard place.

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