Networks Moving to Cheesy Fare

Feb 13, 2009  •  Post A Comment

NBC’s move putting a Jay Leno talk show in primetime is a sign of the inexorable slide of broadcast network programming from award-winning drama to low-budget cheese, the Atlantic reports. As economic conditions worsen the “first casualty may be the profusion of triple-decker, lavishly produced, scripted television that we’ve all taken for granted,” the magazine says.
—Jon Lafayette


  1. I personally applaud NBC for making this move. I am not affiliated with NBC in any way, in fact, I work for a competitor. In the early days of TV, there were many entertainment variety shows, I envision Leno as some sort of variation on this at 10P. I am looking forward to seeing Leno at 10 which might actually keep me up and watching instead of Tivoing him as I do now. There certainly isn’t a lot of competition for him at 10P – one cop or law show is pretty much the same as the next and 10P news are a joke, there is no new news on at 10P, just old rehashes of the entire days news you see on-line.

  2. If I’ve said it once I’ve said it three times…

  3. Leno’s great! He’s like a funny family member or a guy you hope will be at your local Chili’s when you hang out at the bar. He’s entertaining, topical and a proven brand that’s aged well, (like an old car… or wine… but an old boxed wine) who now fits at 10PM, like early local news for the older demo. Conan, also aged, but not as much works since his audience can only stay up till about 12:35. So nice going NBC, good move! But to me it’s funny that the Atlantic reads “award winning drama” dropped as though NBC’s move with Leno is some kind of loss for creativity and great TV. Ha… Right! Now let’s all come down from our glass tower of self impressiveness and get real. Hardly! Since NBC hit with “Law and Order” 150 or 160 years ago (give or take a few years for the WGA strike) for every variation of Law and Order on every outlet and platform know in this world and worlds yet to be discovered, the Pass Word is “copy cat”!… and there hasn’t been a creative idea since. There just applying the old Andy Kovak rule of programming; “If something works – beat it to death, then do it again and again…”. I mean come on, “Perry Mason”, (I can still hear the theme song in my head it ran so much) and “Hawaii 5-O”, (could never get my hair like Jack Lord’s) isn’t that just “Law and Order 1959” with a slight re-write. But then “Perry Mason and 5-O” were just re-writes of “Dragnet” from TV and… Radio! So isn’t Shakespeare right, there’s only a few basic themes and NBC has had one theme for years back to radio (just like all the rest of us)! Wow, one creative idea in 60 or 70 years of broadcasting has built a billion dollar giant? Why are we so easily amused by nothing and then over and over again. Was P.T. Barnum right? Are we really so basic? I mean I know the brain is a pattern based device, but come on! It’s like when I was a high school student, I was also our school’s first professional DJ at a local radio station. That year I won my high school’s “Best DJ Award” and when I was given the trophy the presenting teacher said; “Congratulations… but remember, you are our school’s “only” DJ”. The award looked cool but it didn’t have any value. Same goes for Network and Cable and everyone concerned about making money in our business, once you make it, “play it safe!” and there hasn’t been a creative idea since. So, it’s back to the basics for all of us as we now have a president who reminds us of a ’60’s president, skinny ties are back, coffee is under $5 again and hottie Drew Barrymore was looking a lot more like her legendary relatives on Leno the other night. Nice job Jay, can I have it?
    Bob Tracey
    Bob Tracey Co. Worldwide

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