Score one for Team Coco. When NBC execs reinstated Jay Leno as host of "The Tonight Show" this January, they justified the decision to fire Conan O'Brien by citing his "astounding failure" in the ratings. So far, however, Leno's actually faring worse: According to The Nielsen Company, his viewership has fallen 0.1 points below O'Brien's "Tonight Show" ratings average, and more than 0.5 points below Conan's year-to-year numbers. Unsurprisingly, commentators are savoring the irony:
As George W. Bush would say...
Well, says the blog What Would Tyler Durden Do, if it was "NBC's plan was to piss away 200 million dollars," then "mission accomplished!"
Do we have a back-up?
Looks like NBC is going to have to bring someone else in "to save 'Tonight,'" says Cynthia Dickinson in The Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Mum's the word
NBC's "the top brass has been utterly silent on the washed-up Leno’s hugely yet not unexpectedly disappointing numbers," says blogger Holly Won't in Deceiver. I wonder why?
NBC's next move
"No matter how you measure it," says the blog Warming Glow, "Jay Leno is performing worse as the host of the 'Tonight Show' than Conan O’Brien did. And Leno doesn’t even have the disadvantage of having Leno as a lead-in. Although I wouldn’t put that idea past NBC."
What does Fallon think?
"Right now," says James Furbush in The Sly Oyster, "Jimmy Fallon is probably saying to himself, you know I think I’ll stick with 'Late Night.'"
A little context...
To be fair, says Josef Adalain in New York, "it's summer," so "overall viewing levels at the networks are lower." But this still doesn't bode well for NBC.
Looks like "people caught on to [Leno's] 'I'm innocent' act," says blogger Drake in Electric Banana, "and are just not buying his schtick any more."