Leno Returns to ‘The Tonight Show,’ and, Ultimately, There’s Only One Question Remaining

Mar 1, 2010  •  Post A Comment

Jay Leno is almost certain to win the latenight ratings battle this week, his first back in the slot after his ill-fated seven months in prime time, but , ultimately, there is only one question on the minds of most NBC executives. And that question won’t be answered this week.

It’s the about 2.4 million—people, not dollars. That’s the number of viewers that left the show when Conan O’Brien took it over. How many of them,ultimately, will return? Only time will tell…

–Chuck Ross


  1. It is my opinion (and it’s very true)that David Letterman is head and shoulders above anyone in the 11:30 PM Eastern time slot. He has far superior writers, delivers the material beautifully and is a better interviewer. Some of those two and a half million may have switched over and watched him and will never switch back to “the chin” Conan was wayyyyy out of his league and was quite lucky to have the slot for seven months. If he had any kind of brainpower he would have taken the eleven oclock spot. It was a gift!

  2. This is going to be fun to watch all this late night drama play out this Spring.
    There was room for Dave, Jay and Jimmy a year ago…my guess it will be the same until the next big quit/retirement shake up, which I am willing to predict won’t be for at least five years.
    These guys like to do what they’re doing and they each have an audience sufficient enough for all three entities to be self supportive in numbers.
    Conan is a long shot to consider and, though he may find a new home, I doubt it will last.
    Peter Bright

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