Who's side are you on? Personally I'm firmly behind Conan, he's getting screwed here and I'm praying he ditches NBC and goes to Fox, and kicks jay's ass in the ratings. Here's a story basically summing the whole thing up until yesterday's shows:
Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien had some not-so-nice things to say about their network Monday night.
Leno started off his 10 p.m. ET prime time show with the quip, "But you know, we're not just a show anymore, we are now a collector's item.
"As you may already know, our show has been canceled, fired again," he went on. "See, that shows you NBC's got nothing, even when they fire you it's a rerun. Didn't we just get fired in May?"
Leno's first guest Monday night, Bill Cosby, got in on the action, teasing, "Your ratings are so bad I thought we were going backward."
Following Leno, O'Brien told his applauding audience, "If you keep that up, this monologue won't start until 12:05.
"This weekend, a 6.5 earthquake his California. The earthquake was so powerful it knocked Jay Leno's show from 10 p.m. to 11:35," adding, "I plan to put on a great show night after night while stealing as many office supplies as humanly possible."
Oh, but he wasn't done yet. O'Brien went on to detail 11 things he could do in the wake of NBC's decision to move him out of the 11:35 p.m. slot to 12:05. Among them:
-- Star in a Lifetime original movie about a woman trapped in an abusive relationship with her network.
-- Go to ABC and star in a male redhead version of "Cougartown" called "Redwolf Village."
-- Host a show on B.E.T. called, "White All Night."
-- Move to FOX and follow their hit "24" with a new show called, "24:05"
-- Televise my own colonoscopy on the Bravo Channel in a show called "Project Funway."
-- Pretend to put my son in a giant foil balloon, then sit back and watch the offers come pouring in.
-- Leave television altogether and work in a classier business with better people, like hard-core porn.
Jerry Seinfeld Sticks Up for NBC
It's hard to blame the comedians for being a tad bitter. But at least one prominent comic is defending NBC's controversial shakeup of its late-night stars: Jerry Seinfeld.
Seinfeld, whose iconic sitcom aired on the network during the '90s and '00s, praised NBC's vision in moving Leno to prime time, even if the gamble didn't quite work out as planned.
"This was the right idea at the wrong time," Seinfeld said while promoting his new reality show, "The Marriage Ref," in Los Angeles on Sunday. "I'm proud that NBC had the guts to try something."
Seinfeld also said O'Brien will emerge from the wreckage unscathed.
"What did the network do to him?" Seinfeld asked. "I don't think anyone's preventing people from watching Conan. Once they give you the cameras, it's on you. I can't blame NBC for having to move things around. I hope Conan stays, I think he's terrific. But there's no rules in show business, there's no refs."
It remains to be seen if O'Brien will stay with the network that made him a star of if he'll fly the coop. He's reportedly exploring his options with Fox, but Monday, Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly told reporters that his network is waiting for O'Brien to determine his own fate with NBC before making an offer.
"I love Conan personally and professionally. But right now, he has to make a decision," Reilly said.
NBC Pulls Plug on Leno's Primetime Experiment
Amid sinking ratings and worried affiliates, NBC announced Sunday that the Jay Leno prime-time experiment will end Feb. 12.
NBC confirmed it will yank the comic's 10 p.m. nightly hour once the Winter Olympics begin, and it hopes he will accept a half-hour version of his show at his old time -- 11:35 p.m. -- instead.
"While it was performing at acceptable levels for the network, it did not meet our affiliates' needs and we realized we had to make a change," NBC Universal Television Entertainment Chairman Jeff Gaspin said at the NBC winter press tour in Pasadena, Calif., Sunday.
"What happened starting in November [was] the affiliates called, saying, 'Wow, wow, our local news is being affected more than we expected,'" Gaspin said.
NBC has spoken to Leno, Conan O'Brien and Jimmy Fallon about moving their shows to later start times, Gaspin said. Under the proposal, O'Brien, the man who replaced Leno as host of "The Tonight Show," would move to 12:05 a.m., and Fallon to 1:05 a.m.
"My goal right now is to keep Jay, Conan and Jimmy as part of our late-night lineup," Gaspin said. "As much as I would like to tell you we have a done deal, we know that's not true. The talks are still ongoing."
NBC said its stars were given the weekend to think about it. The network doesn't know whether O'Brien will accept a half-hour demotion or bolt to another network.
"What we're hearing from inside the Conan camp is they're kind of 50-50 right now with what they're going to do," said Mike Schneider, TV editor for Variety. "I mean, this obviously is a big smack in the face."
Last week, amid a firestorm of speculation that NBC might can O'Brien altogether, the network released a statement this week declaring its loyalty to the late-night comic.
"We remain committed to keeping Conan O'Brien on NBC," the network said in a statement Thursday evening. "He is a valued part of our late-night lineup, as he has been for more than 16 years, and is one of the most respected entertainers on television."
'Leno Effect' Leaves Networks Grumbling
The network set the bar low for Leno's prime time 10 p.m. show. After an initial strong showing during his debut week, "The Jay Leno Show" shed viewers faster than you can say David Letterman.
His Sept. 14 debut attracted 18.4 million viewers. By the second week, however, the number of viewers had dipped as low as 5.1 million.
A fall repeat of CBS's "CSI-Miami" topped Leno on a Monday night; not a good sign because Leno vowed this summer to beat the competing networks whenever they aired reruns. Before that, the FX series "Sons of Anarchy" was the first cable show to beat Leno.
Then there's the so-called Leno effect that has some of NBC's more than 200 affiliates grumbling that the show's weak lead-in is eroding audiences for their 11 p.m. newscasts. O'Brien's and Fallon's numbers for their late-night shows are also down, ostensibly because of a weaker Leno. Leno made it clear in a 2009 interview with Broadcasting & Cable magazine that he wasn't ready to concede the fight.
"I enjoy being the underdog," Leno said. "Do I enjoy the battle? Yes, I get a certain amount of satisfaction from pounding my head against the wall.
"Emotionally, I can take body shots all day long and that doesn't really bother me," he added.
But in the end, bowing out of the 10 p.m. race wasn't a choice left up to him.
ABC News' David Alpert, Brian Rooney, Luchina Fisher and Michael S. James contributed to this report.
(videos of both Jay and Conan at the link)