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Looking Back at the Jay Leno Show in 2009

Biggest Headline of '09: Jay Leno Gets a New Time Slot

Jay Leno has had a year of highs and lows. When we first heard the news of Conan O'Brien replacing him on The Tonight Show, everyone wondered about his next gig. (The majority of you felt that he should abandon TV entirely!) But the guy wasn't going anywhere, and NBC soon announced that he'd be getting a brand-new show to helm on NBC with a twist — a 10 p.m. air time.

The move would prove thrifty for NBC, since the show is cheaper to produce than scripted programs, but the primetime slot meant that Leno would be going up against successful shows on other networks, like CSI. Would the risk pay off?

To recap what happened,


The show premiered in September to a ton of hype — with lackluster results. Ratings some nights have dipped below the five million number that he made at late-night, which falls incredibly short of what's expected from a 10 p.m. show. Buzz started circulating that Leno was beginning to drag down the rest of the NBC programming, coining the term "The Leno Effect." Local affiliates complained that he was hurting their 11 p.m. news, and The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien and Late Night With Jimmy Fallon both saw a decline in numbers. Leno became the butt of TV jokes — even 30 Rock got in a jab.


But there is hope for Leno yet. Last week, insiders said that his program has stopped its downward spiral, with recent episodes maintaining or improving its adult demo rating as opposed to the previous week. The cause of the turnaround: many attribute it to reruns from his competing scripted shows. Personally, I think Twilight fans helped. (Leno had New Moon stars Taylor Lautner, Dakota Fanning, and Kellan Lutz on the program.) It's probably a combination of both, but one has to wonder if NBC will continue to put money into something that appears to be dead in the water in its first season.

Have you been watching The Jay Leno Show? Do you think it's time to pull the plug?

Don't forget to check out other highlights from this year with my Best of 2009 polls!

Photo courtesy of NBC

Join The Conversation
lizlee89 lizlee89 7 years
I agree; there's no way this is even the biggest entertainment headline, let alone the biggest headline of the year...
popcorn19 popcorn19 7 years
Ugh I can't stand him! That type of not-funny humour should be kept for late-night when people are too tired to care. Not when they're still awake enough to recognize its lameness.
Zivanod Zivanod 7 years
I've caught the beginning of the show a few times. I don't find it to be very funny at all and not something I would make a point of watching. As well, a lot of shows got the boot or almost got the boot because of NBC's little project and I am still not happy about it.
suziryder suziryder 7 years
I'm not surprised. My hubby and I watch it sometimes, ususally on Tuesday because it comes on after Biggest Loser. We never watched his late-night show, so it's nice to have an earlier option. But - and this is a big but! - the show's pretty terrible. The opening bit is usually kind of amusing, but beyond that it's not that good. His guests seem to be funnier than he is! When he had Larry the Cable Guy on, Larry was hilarious and he was obviously blowing Jay out of the water. And the helper people he has, who do videos and junk, are painfully unfunny. The bit about the helper guys having a Twilight fan meet the werewolf guys from Twilight was so terrible I just turned off the TV. I think those little skits and videos and junk that he's using (relying on, really, for filler!) will kill the show.
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