TCA: NBC Execs Blame Leno's Lead-Ins, Again
When asked about Jay Leno's Tonight Show ratings (which dipped to a 17-year-lowthis past quarter) at the TCAs today, NBC Universal Chairman Jeff Gaspin wasted no time in whipping out a sheet of paper from his pocket that he had prepared for just this question.
"The third quarter, to date, we have a 22 percent advantage over Letterman," recited Gaspin. "It's too early to make any proclamations about anything, and I'm not worried." Even if the network isn't worried, NBC executive Angela Bromstad interrupted the next critic's question to point to what could be hurting the Tonight Show host.
"Hopefully we can improve the health of the primetime shows and that will help Jay as well," Bromstad offered. If that sentiment sounds familiar, it's probably because you remember that when Jay Leno's primetime experiment nosedived in the ratings, Gaspin blamed Leno's lead-ins, more pointedly, for the disappointing figures. Do any primetime shows have a shot at avoiding blame while Leno's numbers are down? Probably not.
Meanwhile, in a time slot not so far away, Jimmy Fallon... exists.