Conan O’Brien released a statement yesterday with regards to the current situation at NBC with The Jay Leno Show and – Conan’s show – The Tonight Show. As you undoubtedly know by now, The Jay Leno Show is being axed from the 10pm slot on NBC from February. NBC have proposed The Jay Leno Show is cut down to a 30 minute show and aired at 11.35pm with The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien shifting 30 minutes later at 12.05am. The Tonight Show has always aired at 11.35pm and Conan isn’t happy.
His statement is addressed to “people of Earth”. A segment of the statement is below;
“Last Thursday, NBC executives told me they intended to move the Tonight Show to 12:05 to accommodate the Jay Leno Show at 11:35. For 60 years the Tonight Show has aired immediately following the late local news. I sincerely believe that delaying the Tonight Show into the next day to accommodate another comedy program will seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting. The Tonight Show at 12:05 simply isn’t the Tonight Show. Also, if I accept this move I will be knocking the Late Night show, which I inherited from David Letterman and passed on to Jimmy Fallon, out of its long-held time slot. That would hurt the other NBC franchise that I love, and it would be unfair to Jimmy.
So it has come to this: I cannot express in words how much I enjoy hosting this program and what an enormous personal disappointment it is for me to consider losing it. My staff and I have worked unbelievably hard and we are very proud of our contribution to the legacy of The Tonight Show. But I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction. Some people will make the argument that with DVRs and the Internet a time slot doesn’t matter. But with the Tonight Show, I believe nothing could matter more.
There has been speculation about my going to another network but, to set the record straight, I currently have no other offer and honestly have no idea what happens next”.