I can't understand it. NBC gave us Seinfeld, The West Wing, 30 Rock, The Office, Cheers, The Cosby Show, The A-Team, Frasier, Star Trek....basically some of the most popular and successful television shows in history. Shows that, for better or worse, have shaped American culture(yes, it should give us pause that TV can do that, but I think we just need to accept it.)
That list, of course, should also include the tremendously successful Tonight Show and Late Night With David Letterman. Something happened, though, that blurged up the greatness of those shows: Jay Leno.
In 1992, when Johnny Carson was retiring from The Tonight Show, a well-known spat erupted over who would succeed him. David Letterman had been in the slot right after Johnny Carson, and so he seemed like the logical choice to take over. Even Johnny wanted it. Somehow, though, NBC, the network that seemed to have the golden touch, decided that the lesser-known Leno should be the host.
Fast-forwarding to 2009, NBC is at it again. Conan O'Brien gets bumped for Jay Leno. I would love to understand what power Jay Leno has over NBC that he can throw his weight around like this. He's not that funny. Why would NBC continually choose Leno over the comedic genius of Letterman and O'Brien? What's going on there?
Jay Leno has a grip on NBC. A fierce grip. What is the secret of your power, Jay?