Los Angeles, CA: Late night television has never seen the rivalry it has seen this past week, as co-NBCers Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien find themselves in the same time slot in their network’s future plans for late night television.
The problems began months ago, when NBC thought that starting late night talk shows an hour early was a good idea. The plan was to move the Jay Leno Show to 10:00pm EST so that his aging audience could continue to watch his show without falling asleep, or waking up too cranky to go to an early-bird breakfast buffet. The plan failed, as NBC executives failed to remember that TV Land had scheduled a 10:00pm Matlock marathon for the months of September, October, and November.
Now, plans are in place to move Jay Leno back to his original time slot at 11:30pm EST. Unfortunately, this action would transplant a certain reknowned talk show host, and his fans are rallying against NBC because of it.
That talk show host is Carson Daly.
It is not surprising that there is such a clamor to keep Carson Daly in the talk show gauntlet. His show Last Call at 1:30am EST has appealed to countless socialites just getting home from an early night at the club since the time slot shift happened. Of course, 3/4 of Daly’s viewers are drunken twentysomething women who repeatedly mistake him for Freddie Prinze Jr., but that demographic is much larger than many imagine.
Of course, these same women think Jimmy Fallon is also Freddie Prinze Jr., so there has not been much of a clamor from them, who fell asleep 15 minutes into the show, whether it was Fallon or Daly.
The real enthusiasts of Carson Daly are the fans that began watching his show when it was airing at 2:30am. At least three people have petitioned NBC to keep Carson Daly on the air, no matter what time he is on.
“They’re not really looking at the numbers,” explained Daly fanatic Christian Plummer. “Nielsen ratings show incontrovertible evidence that Last Call was the third highest rated show on television, at 2:30am. That’s nothing to gawk at.”
When asked what had higher Nielsen ratings, Mr. Plummer answered, “Locally aired infomercials on channel 3, and that stand-by screen that has the never-ending beep. But still, number three!”
Luckily, for those three fans, Carson Daly may retain his current time slot, as Conan O’Brien had allegedly dropped his trousers and dumped a turd into NBC president Jeff Zucker’s bowl of chirashi when the two met to discuss the scheduling conflict.