The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon has been a wild success since it’s launch a few weeks ago during the Winter Olympics on NBC. The ratings have been relatively consistent, drawing ratings that were on par with Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show. Obviously with Jay Leno, ratings were good for a while but dipped in the last decade.
This led NBC executives to force a retirement of sorts for Leno, while replacing him with popular Late Night host Conan O’Brien. Once Conan left, Jimmy Fallon was given Late Night.
Conan immediately pulled in better numbers than Leno and it only made NBC happy, but then Leno got involved. He never wanted to retire and fans of his still wanted him on TV. So he was given a show that started before Conan’s Tonight Show. This pulled in lower ratings for Conan and a move was speculated to happen. This would have put “The Tonight Show” out of “Tonight” and into “the morning”. So Conan stepped down, even though he was basically pushed out. This left the door open for Jay to take over The Tonight Show once again.
Many wondered if the same thing would happen to Jimmy Fallon. Would he take over, making great ratings just like Conan only to have Leno walk in and want to be on TV again? It seems like this is not happening, yet NBC seems to be shooting themselves in the foot once again. It’s like they can’t help the stupid.
NBC now wants all guests to commit to The Tonight Show and NBC shows only, and cannot be on another competing network for interviews. Basically it means that, if you want to be on the show, you cannot go on The Late Late Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, David Letterman, Conan, etc.
NBC feels that the early success of the show is a good enough bargaining tool that would make guests open to the idea of coming on their show only. It sounds completely idiotic and obviously being an NBC thing, it does make sense they thought of it. Yet the idea itself would make more sense if we spoke of an NBC product only staying on NBC. So we shouldn’t want Saturday Night Live cast members going on Conan or something. We want them to stay with NBC while they are there.
Obviously the actors or musicians, or whoever they might be who want the promotion can be on all NBC interviews shows, even The Today Show. Sadly NBC even thinks that it would be right to not allow people to appear on morning shows and shows not competing against Fallon.
So this is more than a Tonight Show issue. Rather, it’s an NBC problem where they think the success of one show will force the entire network to move up. So far up in fact, that they can move from their seemingly fifth place spot on a four network dominate system.
The issue is, it’s not right to try and do this as it will push people away from coming to the show rather than help it become the best late night program in America.
Looking at the ratings for now, everything is great. It seems NBC does not see ratings dipping at all after the new wears off of Fallon. Obviously Jimmy Fallon is doing a great job and Late Night with him on it was awesome. The issue is that NBC is attempting to push this as if Fallon’s numbers for the show will never go down, when it already has to some degree.
Why in the world would you consider the idea of making things harder on The Tonight Show to get guests? Think about it. The show is great now, and it may always be with Jimmy Fallon at the helm. At the end of the day however, will it be able to stand when the guests are not at the caliber of even The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson?
NBC has already started to get fallout from guests they were attempting to book because they did not want to sign a contract that only allowed them to be on The Tonight Show and other NBC shows. I doubt that friends of Fallon’s would even agree to this as it prevents them from getting their work seen by more than just the NBC audience.
Looking at this, Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show has been great. I doubt that anything could ruin the show as it’s core. Yet NBC seems to be pushing that. Why not let things be NBC? You have a win for once, take it and actually live in the solace that you go it, because you may not see another for a long time.